How Can You Potentially Change Another's Life, Forever?
Written by Steven Gamble from Man-Anchor.
What would you say if I told you that you could potentially change a friend or loved one’s life forever or EVEN save their life!
Are you serious? How?
The fact is we all can make a difference by starting simple conversations with our friends and family about mental health.
It’s a frightening statistic that 1 in 8 males, and 1 in 5 females will struggle with either anxiety or depression. Knowing these statistics, stop for a second and think about the people in your life. There is a high chance that someone close to you is struggling with a mental health condition.
Many of us assume that the people in our lives know we are there for them if they ever need to talk. However, the truth is, in most cases, people struggling with mental health conditions are so overwhelmed by their situation they cannot see that you are there to help.
I was once told by someone who had struggled with depression to squint my eyes and block my ears and he started talking to me. The sound was muffled, my sight was blurred and unclear, he then proceeded to say, “That’s what it was like for me”. He believed he had people there for him but just didn’t know who or how to ask for help? That was until he had a friend reach out to him and say they had noticed changes in him, they were concerned, and were there to listen, support and stand by him.
Similarly to cancer, mental health conditions can affect anyone; no one is immune. You may have people you know that on the outside may appear to have the perfect life however everyday life pressures can affect anyone, even them.
So what can we do?
Start conversations with our friends and loved ones about mental health. We can have open discussions about the facts of mental health and let our family and friends know that if they ever feel the need to talk, you are there to listen and support. The “I’m here” conversion can happen anywhere... kid’s sports days, dinner parties, gym, shopping or having a quiet beer with a mate. There is no inappropriate time to have a chat.
The #letstalk project - learn how you can help start conversations and create awareness about Men's Health Issues like men's mental health, prostate & bowel cancer. Together we can remove the stigma surrounding men's health
Here are a few simple ways to start “The #letstalk conversation”:
• “I read an article the other day about mental health. Surprisingly, 45% of all Australians will struggle with a mental health condition in their life! If you or anyone you may know of needs to talk please know I’m here to listen and support you.”
• “Guys, did you know 1 in 8 men suffer from either anxiety or depression in a 12-month period? Boys, you know if any of you need to talk I’m always here. I’m not going to judge, just help.”
• “Girls, did you know 1 in 5 women suffer from either anxiety or depression in a 12-month period? Please know that if you ever feel the need to chat, I’m here for you. I’ll never judge, I’m just here to help and support you.”
• “Babe, I’ve noticed that you haven’t been yourself lately. I want you to know that I’m here for you, just as you would be there for me. We’re a team, and there is nothing we can’t talk about or resolve together.”
You may end up having these #letstalk conversations to ten, twenty or more times with family and friends. However, all you need is just ONE person to stop and think “He/she is genuine, I’m comfortable to reach out to them and talk” and you have made a world of difference in their life.
If you do have someone reach out to you, don’t panic!
Let them know that you are there to support them and be by their side. Make an appointment to see their local GP and show your support by going along. The GP will help set up a plan to address their current situation. It’s important to remember that mental health issues are medical conditions that can be treated with consultation and planning from medical professionals.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Please remember: "Nothing is a problem until you have spoken to someone" - Carolyn Rowland.
Man Anchor is dedicated to the enlightenment of the modern man on a wide range issues & subjects that he confronts on a daily basis.
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Is there someone you know who might like a phone call from you?
Who can you reach out to, or do you have a story of reaching out to someone?
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