A Community Approach
It is natural to feel sceptical or indifferent when we encounter someone who may be struggling. I wouldn’t want to intrude… It is none of my business… I do not know how to help… I cannot possibly help… these are some of the reservations we may have.
On the contrary, the Green Ribbon Group believes that we ourselves are an untapped resource in mental health. We champion a community approach to mental health, which simply means empowerment – equipping communities with basic information and skills so that we can support ourselves and one another.
We would like to encourage individuals and communities to have an understanding of their own mental health, and those around them. Because mental healthcare does not necessarily mean consulting a professional, nor do we have to be professionals to help someone in need.
If we think of mental health as a spectrum, we can play a role at the beginning – when we experience changes such as stress and burnout that take us from mental wellbeing to mental health problems. Understanding what we are experiencing and what we can do about it is paramount. Prevention is better than cure.
Reaching out and saying, “I’m not okay” speaks volumes of our courage and bravery. Checking in and asking, “How are you?” is powerful if we ask sincerely and listen intently. These are basic necessities that we can all employ to practice kindness and compassion – both to ourselves and our communities. Sometimes all it takes is to feel heard and to know that someone is listening.
To those of you who are struggling, know that you are not alone. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark things may get. There is always support and understanding.
Mental health is the responsibility of all.
Play your part.