Caroline Flack: A lesson for us.
I am re-writing this following the death of Caroline Flack as I feel it needs to be addressed.
I often get asked what others can do to support people going through a mental health issue. I had a whole post written out with things to look out for and what you can do to support someone else but after the events of last night I feel that there is only one thing that needs to be discussed.
If you want to prevent others from suffering from mental-ill health, from making them feel less than enough or as if there is something wrong with them, be kind. That is the best thing you can do. Make sure that the environment you are creating is one of openness and kindness so that anyone struggling feels able to ask for your support and you can know that you are adding to what might be an already challenging environment.
It is hard being around people who judge you for your struggles and I can tell you that from personal experience. Not taking time to consider my odd, slightly different behaviour patterns that were creeping in, my sleep patterns that were changing to be something that needed supporting. Instead taking it as something to judge, mock or berate me for. I have been lucky in that it has always been a select few and I was brave enough to get away from them. So many others aren’t that lucky.
Consider the words you use and the environment you are creating. Ultimately you ensue your environment and if you are constantly surrounded by negativity it will affect your wellbeing and that of those around you. If you are choosing speak in a negative manner, work with harmful comparisons or engage with media aimed at shaming someone else then you are not only putting yourself in harm’s way but other too.
All of those things are CHOICES.
You make the decisions and you can choose how you want to view someone or a situation. No one else. Choose to be kind because you never know what part of you it might help and the only side effect is that you might help someone else too. From my story in my last blog you can see that I went through some challenging times and trust me there were days I didn’t feel as if I could carry on. Those friends and family members that were there, giving time and hope to me quite literally saved my life. Sometime that thing was a coffee and a chat for 15 minutes. From those small acts of kindness it helped me change how I viewed those harmful situations and take learning from them and move forward.
Smile when you can, ask people how they are and mean it, check in with the friend or family member that seems to be great all the time and most importantly check in with you and give yourself some space from others if needed. Everyone can impact others mental well-being but the person who has the most control over yours is you.
Choose kindness and choose you.
If anyone is effect by last night’s news or feels they are struggling and cannot get support from the network around them, please view my help page to find some great charities that will be there for you.
I promise your feelings can and will be temporary and there is so much more out there for you and your happiness.