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TO SEE IS TO COPE: Mental health’s coping mechanisms

By Dr. Dorelene V. Dimaunahan, MScM, CFE, CMA, CHRP
June 30, 2020



TO SEE IS TO COPE: Mental health’s coping mechanisms




Many people of all ages and segments of society may be going through and mental health issues, most especially those who have lost their jobs, were victims of the pandemic or mourned the death of a loved one due to COVID19. According to the World Health Organization, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are among the most common mental health illnesses these days.

People respond differently to mental health issues primarily because of their environment. Some prefer to be quiet, whereas others are very open about this. These days, it is important to take extra precaution on mental health matters, since these have long-term effects on a person and will definitely affect productivity– be it at school, in the workplace or even at home.





Three coping mechanisms are important for those who feel that they are amidst individuals facing mental health issues. The question is, how can you identify who is and isn’t going through this tricky, invisible disease?

Usually, those who experience mental health diseases show an abrupt change in attitude. They may also lose appetite, have difficulties mingling with others, or have difficulties sleeping. There are many other symptoms but regardless of the reason, it is our duty to help them cope with these issues. It is most important to SEE with them and through them.





Seek Help

TO SEE IS TO COPE: Mental health’s coping mechanisms

First and foremost, it is important to have Faith in the Lord and offer prayers for those suffering mental health illnesses. Although they may not immediately be open to see a mental expert, it is key to keep an open mind, most especially if they turn to you for help or accompaniment.

Encourage

TO SEE IS TO COPE: Mental health’s coping mechanisms

A positive environment is one that helps those going through mental illness feel that they belong and appreciate what’s around them. Words of encouragement, physical touch in the form of hugs or a simple “pat in the back” are also very helpful. Other ways to battle this illness are wellness activities, such as yoga and exercise, that help keep “happy hormones.”





Empathize

TO SEE IS TO COPE: Mental health’s coping mechanisms

We will never understand how mental illness feels until we personally go through it. Therefore, it is for us to respect and never judge anyone going through this. Instead, it is our duty to extend the value of empathy by simply lending an ear to listen intently. They need someone to listen to them and not immediately give any form of advice. They need to let whatever is bothering them “out of their system.”

Being able to do SEE is already a big step in helping someone who is facing mental health problems cope with this illness. Let us be cautious because apart from COVID19, this is another invisible enemy luring amongst us.

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