How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mental Health?

Posted Friday, Mar. 02, 2018

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Ways to change the conversation, starting at home.

Mental health has been brought up endlessly in the weeks since the Parkland, FL high school massacre. Was mental health the problem? Could better mental health provisions for the killer have prevented the tragedy? Whether you see it as a cure-all, a scapegoat, or a nationwide problem that will never get the attention it deserves, there’s no denying that the question of mental health in our country is embattled and polarizing. 

Opinions on “what might have been” always abound after sad and tragic news, but what’s becoming increasingly clear is that better access to mental healthcare would, at least on some level, benefit everyone. 

At the same time, another increasingly clear revelation is that progress in this and many other areas start with tiny local seeds, not big national monoliths. 

Better mental health, like so many ideas, starts at home. We recently found this blog that had solid suggestions on how you can lead your community down a path of more robust mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the state of the world these days, like so many of us are, try some of these suggestions from the blog:

Start at Home: 

  • Talk about mental health with your children. Depression can start as early as elementary school. While you may have to use different vocabulary, make sure your children know it’s okay to not feel happy and that there’s help for it. 

  • Watch for bullying and encourage your children to speak up about it. 

  • Cook with healthy fats, carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables for better mental health.  

Change Your Mind: Learning the right tools, words, and resources will help you help others. 

  • The blog suggests non-judgmental speak. “Never use words like ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’ as insults.”

  • Read up on mental health and know the latest stats.

  • Know where people can receive help in your area.

Take Action:

  • Write or call your government representatives from the state and local level all the way up to federal asking for mental health funding and better resources.  

  •  Distribute educational information from MentalHealthScreening.org. Their kits contain great informational handouts and flyers that explain mental health issues and encourage awareness.

  • Volunteer with mental health awareness organizations.  

In a country as large and diverse as ours, completely “solving” mental health may always be a distant dream. But we believe—and we hope you do, too—that just because we may never achieve a perfect world, it’s no reason not to try for one.