The month of October has seen Mental Health Week in WA come and go – and what better focus to have in our first blog post for Armed For Life.
Mental health is such an important issue that we need to address at every age and stage of our lives – as some people are suffering have nowhere to turn to – or no idea how to deal with the issue. I think I suffered from depression throughout my entire five years at high school. Some people love school, and some people hate school. I hated school. It was a terrible experience for me. I was bullied every day of my high school life, my parents divorced in year 8 and things only got worse from there. I had a plan in place to take my own life in year ten because I couldn’t handle the pain I was experiencing anymore. I could not deal with problems, I would fall apart as soon as I came face to face with a problem, and I had about as low a self-esteem as you can have.
All of this explains why I am so passionate about helping teenagers with mental health during their schooling years. To change their behavior and their prespective on mental health is to change how they feel about themselves, and change how they deal with their individual problems. We can often find ourselves at a crossroads wondering what step to take next – or how to deal with a problem and these situations usually come alongside mental health issues. I have been through 3 periods of depression and anxiety in my life.
What we need to do during these times is choose to deal with those problems, whatever that requires, rather than sweep them under the rug and pretend like they are not there, or blame someone else in our lives for whatever problems we face. The three things I would suggest starting with if you are struggling with a Mental Health issue are;
- Change Your Lifestyle
- Talk to someone
- Focus on becoming more self-aware
A large part of my organisation has always been to help deal with mental health problems, but what I didn’t understand is that a person’s mental health state is only part of the problem. That’s why I talk about Health and wellbeing as a whole now. The best way to change how you feel is to improve the lifestyle you lead – most importantly the food that you eat. I have sat with people one on one in a coaching session, and even though they had about as traumatic experience growing up as you can have and were depressed, within four days of eating differently, they text me so excited that they don’t feel down anymore. I also encourage everyone that I speak to in group sessions to talk to someone (a trained professional) – one on one – about the problems that they are facing.
Not only can you sometimes get the help that you desperately need at that time, but it also just lifts a weight off our shoulders. And becoming more aware of why we feel and think the way that we do is so essential to managing and dealing with our mental health- it can be challenging but so powerful to own our issues and focus on dealing with them. Becoming aware of why we do what we do sometimes have to be the first step to getting healthy in every facet of health in our lives.
Find out more about our services within the mental health space within schools here.