TED, let’s talk!

i will be totally honest, i don’t exactly know what approach i’m going to take when writing about mental health/well-being.
> maybe i’ll do my some of my own little research (via reliable google sources or scholarly articles) and talk about a general topic… but then again i don’t want to be writing an essay.
> maybe i’ll focus on something that hits a little closer to home, something more personal. like a journal of sorts.
> maybe i’ll just simply summarize the fantastic articles i’ve found.
> or maybe a combination of all three. i don’t know yet.

the three main sources i get my ideas and knowledge from are the following: TED, Psychology Today, and mindful (because i follow their tweets closely). but sometimes i stumble across some other fantastic articles from other various sources.

anyhoo, the first article i want to share with you is “How should we talk about mental health?“, written by Thu-Huong Ha for TED (yeah, the same TED as the famous TED Talks you probably know of).

the author suggests 10 different ways to talk about mental health in a respectful and responsible way. the ones i am going to further discuss are the following:

  • end the stigma
  • if you feel comfortable talking about your own experience with mental health, by all means, do so
  • separate the person from the problem
  • sometimes the problem isn’t that we’re using the wrong words, but that we’re not talking at all

end the stigma

we should all be very grateful that the stigma surrounding mental health has, overall, diminished in the society that we currently live in (or at least most of the world), thanks to general increased awareness and acceptance. however, it is definitely still present. i personally believe that education systems should implement mental health education conjointly with physical health education – they both affect the mind and body and overall well-being of a person, so are they really that different? more on this subject another time.

if you feel comfortable talking about your own experience with mental health, by all means, do so

i think there is nothing more effective than self-advocacy, especially from people you personally know. i was encouraged by a close friend to seek a counsellor on how to cope with my anxiety, and from my own “therapeutic” experience gained from those sessions, i in turn encouraged others to seek help should they need it. there is nothing to be ashamed of at all. this may sound cliché, but a lot of the times, clichés hold some truth: although one may think they are alone, they most definitely are not, and the sharing of experiences opens up that supportive community where people do understand.

separate the person from the problem

short & straight-to-the-point: remember, a person is NOT their disease or disorder. just like how someone with a physical injury is not defined by that injury.

sometimes the problem isn’t that we’re using the wrong words, but that we’re not talking at all

of course, one should always be cautious of words/verses being thrown around carelessly (even though the person does not mean any harm), such as “retarded”, “fag”, “that’s so gay”, and “go kill yourself” – these can be very strong trigger words, so a reminder to use them with care, context, or even avoid using them at all! tying into the second point, if you have a good support network (which i sincerely hope you do, because everybody needs it), do not be afraid to reach out and simply talk to people, whether it be an online community, friends, or family. two brains (or more) are always better than one, right?

well, that was just a short introductory-esque post about this new section of my blog.
and please, feel free to shoot me a message with a post you find interesting, or comment with your own thoughts – i love insight!

 

image & article source: http://ideas.ted.com/how-should-we-talk-about-mental-health/

Advertisements