"Listen," to Love, Understand, and Accept
When working with individuals with mental health and emotional issues, it's important to give them love, understanding, and acceptance. Far too often, society slides these individuals into a black book, silently gossiping about them yet showing a good front for their own egocentrism and a well deserved pat on the back from others. Thus, mental disorders continue to get the 'bad' rap. And, in the end, these individuals become afraid to seek support whether through complementary medicine, psychotherapy, or even family support for fear of condemnation.
I've been comparing the techniques of the West to the East a bit lately, and notice, even in the far East, that individuals are much more understanding, loving, and accepting when it comes to mental or emotional disorders of family members or others in general. Yet, in the West, we vouch ourselves as industrious, resourceful, modern, and up-to-date on empirical research, yet treat our fellow one's with discrimination quickly ignoring and denying any issues.
Most of the West is highly strung on individualism absorbed in our own matters. A very effective tool for production. But is this effective for community and acceptance? And, is this one of the reasons for discrimination toward mental health?
Mental health is a social issue, and it can begin very early in life - part genetic and part environmental. It is a choice to remain unaware and do nothing. It is a choice to ignore and deny mental health issues that effect more than 10 percent of the people globally. The take a pill and everything will be fine mentality is a way of putting these individuals to rest; or rather, it is a way for the larger public to fall asleep to these individuals so that no focus can be placed on them and no support would need to be given.
To conclude, mental and emotional health is vital, and if you don't have it, you don't have health at all. It's debilitating in every way - connection in relationships, physical activity, healthy eating, and work to name a few. Support, love, understand (or at least try to), and accept them for who they are and what they are going through. How do you begin? Begin by "listening."
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