How to be a Mental Health Ally

How to be a Mental Health Ally

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and, in support of the 1 in 5 people suffering with mental disorders, we have composed a few tips on how to be a great mental health ally! Educating yourself on how our friends and loved ones deal with their mental health conditions provides a better understanding for you and helps the sufferer feel comfortable coming forward about their issue. While there are many ways to be great allies, we have created a few great tips to help you get started:

 

  1. Learn about mental health conditions – There are a variety of great places you can get information on mental health. Websites such as MentalHeath.gov, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance of Mental Illness provide statistics, treatment and crisis options, and show people how they can become involved in helping sufferers and reducing the stigma within their communities.

 

  1. Be ready to reach out – One of the most uncomfortable things (on both ends, really) is talking about the issue. If you feel that a friend, relative, or someone you know is acting out of character then express your concern to them. Tell them you are interested in helping them if need be and most importantly, you are there to listen.

 

  1. Remember, you’re in a no judgement zone – This should come as no surprise, but a person is crisis will not be the most receptive to criticism. Be empathetic to the person and the problem at hand regardless of fault, you must help them feel they are safe to speak with you. There is a time and place to provide constructive criticism, but the sufferer must be in place mentally and emotionally to understand and receive it.

 

  1. Take care of yourself – Helping a friend or loved one coping with the symptoms of mental illness is a long and tiresome job. During this, you must remember to take care of your own mental and physical health because your issues matter too! Just think, you will be leading by example!

 

  1. Just be there – Sometimes, a sufferer is not ready to talk. While we would love to help them overcome their problems, we must also understand that at times, there is not an apparent cause or reason for their feelings. Sometimes, a good friend is all that is needed in those moments to take their mind off things and help them through the process of emotions.

 

Being an ally does not mean that you get it right on the first or even the second try. It means that you are willing to keep trying even when things seem hopeless because those that feel alone will further isolate themselves due to the shame they feel. This year, let’s put a stop to that and lend a hand where we can!

4 Ways To Invest Into Yourself

4 Ways To Invest Into Yourself

When it comes to advancing in your career you must be able to stand out. There is more than one method to doing this. For example, you want to make sure that you have an awesome work ethic. It also helps by having a lot of knowledge in your field. For some this may mean furthering your education by gaining a degree, but for those of you who don’t want to endure tons of studying and loans there are plenty of other options.

Reading

Reading is a great and inexpensive way to expand your knowledge. It is unlikely that you won’t be able to find a book on a subject that you desire to learn more about. Through reading you can learn new skills such as budgeting or cooking. You can learn about the customs of different cultures and new words. One thing that most highly influential people have in common is that no matter how busy they may be they set aside time to read. These people are well-rounded and open minded which plays a huge part in their success. Find a few books you might be interested in –  whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, 80 pages or 300 give it a go. It also might be a great idea for you to find out what books the influential people in your industry recommend and add it to your reading list.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor isn’t just for college age adults and below. Mentors are great for every phase of your life to help guide you. One of the best methods to go about finding a mentor is to find someone who is where you want to be in the near future. These people have gone through the career obstacles that you might be facing now and can lend first hand advice. Also, make sure that you choose someone that you can trust and that has your best interest at heart. If you want a mentor, don’t be afraid to ask for one. Most people are honored that you think so highly of them that you want to place them in that position in your life. Remember, not asking for the things you need in life won’t get your far.

Attend Conferences/Networking Events

Attending conferences and networking events gives you the opportunity to learn and also connect with others in your industry. In conferences, you get to absorb exclusive information from top thought leaders that can help advance you in your career. Networking events allow you to exchange business cards and make connections that can lead to future collaborations or maybe a new job. Conferences can be expensive so zero in on what you feel like will be most impactful with your goals. Networking events however, are often free and frequent Check out your local listings, bring your cards and meet new people.

Take an Online Course

You can learn almost anything on the internet. Just like books, it is very unlikely that you won’t be able to find a subject that peaks your interest. The great thing about enrolling in an online course is that you get to learn at your own pace.  You can learn how to become a master of a certain social media platform or how to write grants. Some courses can be expensive, but on the bright side you will be learning a new valued skill for your career and able to beef up your resume.

Reasons To Know Your Love Language

Reasons To Know Your Love Language

If you’ve ever asked for relationship advice you might have heard “communication is key.” This advice is simply put, but deeper than what meets the eye. Communication comes in many different forms: verbal, physical and through the ways we display love. Our love language explains to us how we display love to others and how we prefer to be loved. According to Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate,” there are 5 love languages.

Words of Affirmation
Words are long lasting in the mind. These are the people that need love to be expressed verbally. Telling them why you love them and that they are doing a good job gives them a warm feeling inside.
Quality Time
This language speaks to those who love one-on-one time with those they care about. They prefer the cellphones to be turned off and to just enjoy each other’s company. By setting aside time for just you too, you make this person feel important in your life.
Receiving Gifts
People who operate through this language don’t just focus on the gift; it’s about the thought put into it. They love when someone surprises them by showing up with the exact thing that they subtly mentioned they wanted. Giving them gifts that you know they will enjoy or taking the time to go above and beyond for a birthday shows that you care about them and are attentive to their needs.
Acts of Service
Words are nice, but some people feel the most loved when they see you perform certain actions. The action can be as small as gathering all the groceries out of the car for them or paying a few bills. Actions for this person builds trusts.
Physical Touch
People in this group love hugs, holding hands, pats on the back and kisses. It isn’t a sexual thing as much as it is comforting feeling to have a loved one be close and nurturing.

It’s important to be aware of your love language so that you can get a better understanding of what you need from others to feel the most loved. For example; your partner might be showering you with gifts, but you are actually in need of more quality time. By being aware of your needs you can explain them to your loved ones so that you can be on the same page.

It would be best if you and your friend/partner took the test together and talked it over. Most of us make the mistake of thinking that others prefer to be loved exactly how we prefer it. While it is always good to live up to the golden rule, you also have to read the fine print. Dissatisfaction can creep in, not because you aren’t trying, but because you are trying the wrong things. Your friend/mate might need you to show actions instead of kind words. Whereas you might be satisfied with long text messages. You can discover what your love language is by taking a free 30-minute quiz online. Also, don’t stop at just the quiz, get the book and read along with your loved ones for a better understanding.