Your Mental Health
How often do you check in with self? I am asking about your internal self, not the external version of yourself, who pretends everything is solid.
Think about the person you see in the mirror when you’re alone. Do you like your reflection? When was the last time you smiled at yourself?
I won't ask you about the last time you said, "I love you," to yourself. Although it's not, it might feel weird.
It’s okay to be sad. However, when those down moments prevent joy from showing up, and you find yourself slipping into depression, it is time to get help. It’s essential to avoid the fall into thinking about hurting yourself or others; let someone know.
What experiences shaped this introduction?
This week I received certification through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing to provide help during a mental health or substance use challenge. The asynchronous and synchronous training components did not certify me to diagnose. Instead, they enhanced empathy and encouraged self-care practices.
If you're interested in strategies to support yourself and others, read this post, and I will share ideas relevant to your personal and professional roles.
First, we must eliminate the stigma associated with mental health. Our mental health is an extension of our physical bodies. Pursuing a new diet or exercise routine is comparable to attending therapy sessions or engaging in self-care activities.
It’s imperative to talk with others about what you do to keep your head in shape.
In many Black communities, we avoid topics related to mental illness. We may have family members who demonstrate manic bipolar, psychosis, or anxiety behaviors, but we ignore or ostracize them. The fear of having a difficult conversation prevents us from taking action.
Mental illnesses influence my family. Sometimes, we embody empathy toward individuals during a difficult season. Unfortunately, other times we distance ourselves and do not respond with critical, courageous compassion.
The Mental First Aider for Adults course discussed the ALGEE method to assist people during a mental health crisis.
A involves the approach to assess for suicide or harm to others.
L is when the first aider listens non-judgmentally to the adult in crisis.
G consists of giving assurance.
E encompasses encouragement to see a professional.
E stands for embracing self-care activities as remedies.
The instructors and the online modules reiterated that ALGEE is a non-linear response process. You can complete each step in any order applicable to the scenario.
If you’re experiencing a difficult phase in life, find a professional, friend, or elder to talk with about your feelings.
During the course, I learned that it is not uncommon to wait almost a year for an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist in the United States. Unfortunately, mental health experts are rare in Antigua and Barbuda, but we have options on the campus and in the villages.
Call 988 in the US or 268 463-5553 during a mental health emergency in Antigua and Barbuda.
Everyone needs to prioritize self-care. First-aiders and the individuals they serve need to check in with their selves every day.
With work responsibilities and family life, how can you make time for yourself?
A self-care action plan is an assignment that students complete as part of the Mental Health First Aid course. We identified activities involving people and programs across multiple domains that support happiness, recovery, and fulfillment.
This weekend explore options in your intellectual, emotional, environmental, physical, spiritual, financial, and occupational spheres.
Enroll in the Mental Health First Aid course here. The non-profit organization options are free.
Subscribe to this blog to learn more about self-care options that can keep you in tune to better serve yourself, your family, and your community.