My teenager gets weary of hearing, “Just try to put yourself in their shoes.”
I recently read a blog post titled, “Quarantine Blues and Learned Appreciation for All Levels of Functioning.” It made me smile. Could these recent times help us better understand what it’s like to live with depression or anxiety?
May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that one in five people live with a mental illness? Mental health problems are common. They can happen to anyone, at any age, and to people of any race or ethnic group. And the impact they can have on one’s life can be significant.
Besides putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we can be thoughtful about the language we use. For instance, telling someone to “snap out of it” or “pull yourself together” aren’t helpful. Even a well-meaning, “Just think about all the things you have to be grateful for,” can be hurtful because it invalidates the person’s feelings. It’s simply not that simple.
As soon as we’re able to gather in groups of 10 or more, you might consider taking a Mental Health First Aid Training to increase your knowledge and learn how to help others who may be experiencing a mental health problem.
This is Denise Hensley for Church Health.