Do It for Somebody Else: Take Part in Mental Health Discussions

by | Mar 9, 2023 | life, Life Journey, Mental health | 0 comments

Photo by Emma Bauso

Mental health is as important as physical health. It can even be considered more important than the other, given that what happens in one’s mind can manifest in one’s physical condition. However, despite the long and exhaustive discourses, many people remain generally uneducated about this matter.

In the past, the stigma around mental health has been prevalent to the point that it has generally stopped people from getting their much-needed help. Due to this negative perception, individuals suffering from health issues become hesitant about reaching out to professionals and sharing their problems with others for fear of getting judged. Instead of getting better, they end up declining due to the lack of support and due to them isolating themselves from the rest.

Fortunately, society has become accepting of mental health problems, supporting people with these issues more openly by providing them access to treatments and help materials. The general public has become more aware of common mental disorders, encouraging these individuals to seek professional help. However, increased awareness doesn’t automatically mean an increased acceptance or empathy toward these individuals, nor does this mean the complete eradication of the stigma. People may already acknowledge that mental health disorders exist. That’s the first step. But this won’t lead to them feeling deeply and empathizing with these people.

The Significance in Cultivating Empathy

According to Mental Health First Aid, to effectively empathize with individuals suffering from mental health issues, people must put themselves in the person’s shoes and show them they’re genuinely heard and understood. This means ensuring the individual feels included and supported without secluding them and making them believe they’re any different from anyone. People recognizing the existence of these disorders is a crucial step in achieving this level of rapport since this allows them to identify, on the surface, how the condition affects the individual.

But aside from this recognition, why must people empathize with these individuals? One of the questions people might ponder regarding empathy is how it will affect the individual’s situation. How is empathy helpful when it doesn’t alleviate or treat the individual’s condition?

Jerold Skolnik answers the question in one of his speeches addressing mental health issues. In non-verbatim, the author and speaker says when people find themselves in a darker headspace, there should be others who can be the source and shine a light for them. This means people can provide individuals with the strength they need through empathy. Especially when mental health issues can make people question their worth, empathy can make those around them more sensitive and considerate, helping these people recognize their value. Even though they aren’t experiencing any mental and internal turmoil, empathy can make people understand how difficult it is to live with one. Hence, they can be more sensitive to and provide for these people’s needs.

Spreading This Empathy

It’s already established that increased awareness about mental disorders doesn’t necessarily correspond with having more empathetic people. They can be educated about terms, symptoms, and manifestations. But this doesn’t make them any sensitive and careful of their behaviors. Technical knowledge doesn’t make people kinder. However, if people are educated about how their behaviors can influence other people’s lives, then progress can be achieved.

With empathy as one of the most substantial means of helping people, this concept must be disseminated to others. Encouraging crowds to empathize would do wonders for an unkind society.

Public conferences or discussions gathering public attention is a great way to destroy the stigma surrounding mental health. When people avoid talking about this in public, they aren’t only denoting that there’s something wrong with these conditions. They’re also piling onto the negativity surrounding the concept. Mental health discussions are an essential platform to let people realize their choices or changes in their behaviors can significantly impact another’s life. These are a means to remind people to always be sensitive. While they may not be the one’s experiencing these disturbances, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be considerate. Empathize. Do it for somebody else. People may never know the lives they’ll be saving by simply being more conscious of their behaviors.


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