Mental Health Mondays: Conversations Gone Awry

We’ve heard it time and time again: “Talk to me when you need to talk” “I’m here for you”. The worst one? “We need to work on the conversation of mental health and people should reach out when they need it”.

Yes, we do need a reformation of how our mental states effect us. Yes, we need to know who we can go to, when our brains won’t let us just do things. The problem? When our brains are in that state of haywire and out of wack.

As someone who has struggled with metal health issues, for awhile now, it isn’t so easy to allow yourself to reach out to a family member, a friend, mentor, or even a therapist. Our mind tells us “It’s not a good time, it’s 1:39 and I can’t sleep. I know my closest friend said to message her, but she has work in the morning. I’ll just go make a strong drink and hope it allows me to sleep for a bit.”

Sound at least somewhat familiar? You’re not alone.

An issue that I personally have with the conversation (or lack there of, in a way), is that in the western world, we idolize celeberties so much, and the only time the conversation comes up, is when someone dies of mental health problems. Regardless of how they kill themselves, it’s not just a fame and fortune issue.

In China, they have large nets connected to the buildings, for people working at certain companies. The most notable ones are the Apple plant, and the worry about those working for the same mother company, but work on Sony and Microsoft products.

Speaking of which, the Apple Keynote event is tomorrow (updated to watch the event, from Apple.com). I’ll be watching, for curiosity really.

Another issue I see, when it comes to the conversation over mental health, is why we not only talk about when a celebrity dies, but when there’s a mass casualty. Not just when you think about China’s issue, but also in the west. Mass shootings, such as Las Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, to van/car run-overs such as in London and Toronto, is what I’m talking about.

I’m not going into the gun debate here, since that’s not what I’m focused on here. But the talk about mental health behind the perpetrator is what I want to focus on. We talk about how it relates to gun ownership, which is important, but what about operating a car? Even what the person’s mental health is like in terms of how they were interacted with people prior, to intelligence and learning capability, among other things.

So how do we fix it? Well, just saying “come talk to me, when you need it” doesn’t always work. Sure some people can bring themselves to open up, and that’s phenomenal, truly. But for us that like to bottle it up, because we don’t want to feel like a burden, feel guilty for feeling and thinking such a way, or don’t feel comfortable to talk to people about our head space? What do we do for them?

Sure, there’s online and text counseling, but that adds issue with how health insurance covers counseling and medication, and cost to the person, let alone some people just can’t get comfortable with counseling/talk therapy at all.

How do we help cope with our brains? One thing’s for sure: we could study and learn more about the brain itself, and what each mental health issue does, to a span of people. That sounds great, and in theory, would be great. But that takes people away from their jobs and personal life, and only a fraction of people would probably be willing to subject themselves to these studies.

In an odd way of looking at it, the things we do with technology (remember me mentioning Apple), we need to do with, or in regards to, the mental health issue and conversation. We love innovating and seeing new things, and creating, even learning.

Why did we leave behind the mental health field behind? We’ve made innovative measures in medicine, technology, food, and transportation, to name a few.

My question to all of you is: What can we do to be more innovative on mental health? How do we make a strong conversation to push the mental health issues we have today?

How can I help? Share with me your answers in the comments, I’d love to know.

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