As the world re-opens and life resembles some sense of normality, the impact of the global pandemic on mental health is becoming glaringly obvious. While numbers of people having mental health difficulties pre-pandemic were already on the rise, we are now seeing record-breaking numbers of people struggling with mental health disorders – and these are only the ones we know about!
While in some communities mental health care provision is accessible, for many both stigma and financial implications prevent those who need help from getting it.
We as a community can have an impact in helping those around us. We are able to help reduce social barriers and provide essential support in addition to mental health specialists.
One thing that the global pandemic did a fantastic job of was to isolate people. Now, as the world is moving on, many of us, including our children are struggling to reintegrate back into society. Many may appear to be functioning well, it is not always obvious. With this in mind here are some practical things we can all do to help those around us today. The bonus is that they do not cost anything, except perhaps a little bit of time:
- Talk openly to your friends and family about mental health. These discussions can help reduce stigma and make getting help feel like a possibility.
- Communicate – do you have a friend or family member who you have not heard from for a while? Reach out to them, check-in, start a conversation.
- Show kindness towards others, even someone you might not normally engage with – Bus Captains, the Auntie at the hawker stall, a new colleague at work – say good morning, ask them how we are, give a smile – you never know when someone really needs those things to help them get through their day.
One person’s efforts can make a difference to others’ mental health. Make World Mental Health Day the day to start. You can make a difference to the people around you. Go on, give it a try, I challenge you to not feel a positive impact too!
Thrive Family is proud to be able to provide low-cost therapy to those who wouldn’t normally be able to access therapy due to financial constraints.
Counsellor working with adults, adolescents and children
Masters in Guidance and Counselling, PGCE, BA (Hons.)