When we think of health, we tend to focus solely on the physical aspect. To most of us, being unwell means having a cold, a fever, or any other disease we can quickly identify in the doctor’s office. However, most of us tend to overlook disorders far more insidious than an ache in our body. These disorders can creep up on you when you’re at your most unassuming and haunt you for a lifetime.
You might have been carrying them around for years without understanding the cause and have meaningless outbursts. Mental health problems often go unchecked in vast populations because it’s challenging to face the idea that the problem may lie in our minds. The flu is, after all, much easier to treat than insecurity, fear, or trauma. However, recognizing where our interpersonal problems may stem from is a step in the right direction. It’s up to all of us to spread awareness about mental health, so below, we’ve listed the top five ways you can do so.
Work as a counselor
One of the best ways to spread awareness about mental health is by joining professionals who work solely to help people overcome mental health problems. Psychologists work actively to understand mental disorders, including their causes, the symptoms, and how we can overcome them. They know the challenges that people face better than anyone and provide clients with a safe space to face all their fears. While there are a variety of psychological fields, counseling is one of the most popular ones. With mental health problems on the rise, we need counselors now more than ever before.
Counselors work in a range of capacities and with varying demographics. They can work in schools, clinics, substance abuse centers with domestic violence victims, the incarcerated, and the elderly. They handle behavioral and emotional disturbances and can help you identify and overcome the cause of your problems. A counseling degree teaches you immense empathy and clinical and research skills to ensure the best patient outcomes. Completing your online Masters in Counseling will enable you to enter a field where you can raise awareness through your clients.
Leverage social media
If you want to raise awareness about mental health problems but feel you can’t reach out to many people, think again. Social media gives each of us the same outreach as a politician or celebrity if we know how to reach our audience well. It’s an excellent place for you to educate many people on mental health problems, the stigma, myths, and more. You can allow people to come forward with their stories and show people that recovery is possible. You can also share mental health screening sites or encourage people to talk to a trusted confidant if they feel they’re struggling.
Using social media also allows you to create a culture of acceptance around mental health. It makes it easier for people to access help.
Work on the state level
Counselors work on an individual level to help clients face their mental health problems. However, there are other ways you can engage the public. There are several reasons why clients may suffer from emotional and behavioral disturbances. While some causes may be innate, there are many situational reasons. Downtrodden communities are more vulnerable to developing mental health disorders. Furthermore, they have a more challenging time fixing their issues, as their situation is the main perpetuating factor. State-level legislation can help turn around these individuals’ lives, but they need someone to campaign for them.
Public health workers recognize the cultural, social, biological, and economic processes that give rise to mental health problems. They can realize which communities are likelier to suffer from substance abuse, gun violence, domestic violence, or any other trauma and can work to safeguard them. With an online MPH, you can learn how to campaign for the underprivileged. Public health workers can undertake research that can raise mental health awareness at a state level and turn around these people’s lives for good.
Challenge the myths surrounding mental health
One of the most significant reasons mental health problems often go untreated is the host of myths and stereotypes surrounding these issues. Mental health stigma is when people treat someone differently because of their diagnosis. Discrimination can occur in various settings and only make the individual feel isolated, problematic, and insecure. People associate many different myths with mental conditions. There are several ways we can unknowingly encourage the perpetuation of these myths and stereotypes. It can be when we use phrases like ‘he’s crazy, etc.’ to describe someone suffering from a disorder or assume mental health problems are due to emotional weakness.
Challenging these myths whenever we encounter them can build a more accepting atmosphere surrounding mental health. It, in turn, can encourage those suffering to seek help sooner, without worrying about being labeled. Furthermore, challenging myths can help build a more supportive environment and reduce the incidence of many disorders.
Practice and encourage kindness
Practicing kindness may seem like a small step, but it is one of the most effective when dealing with mental health. While there may be several underlining reasons why someone may suffer from mental disorders, the solution is almost always a safe space and some support. Therapists employ various techniques to help clients overcome their issues, but the most effective is the therapeutic alliance. It is the relationship between the client and the therapist and one of the most effective harbingers of positive change.
One of the alliance’s key features is kindness and empathy, which we can easily practice in our daily lives. It’s important to be kind to anyone around you, regardless of whether you think they’re struggling or not. If you can provide a safe space to those around you, you may help reduce mental health issues. It’s also vital you make people understand the impact of mean words and actions to create a better society.
Raising awareness about mental health isn’t something we can only do with a degree, although it certainly helps. All it takes is a little kindness, empathy, and care for the ones around us. With our mental health in check, we can experience better physical health and enjoy our life fully.