Mental health directly influences the way people think, feel and act, as well as physical health; however, myths, fear of stigma and discrimination are elements that deeply damage self-esteem and cause people to avoid seeking psychological support.
It is no secret to anyone that the economic vulnerability that came with the crisis had a direct impact on the mental health of people, especially those who lost their jobs or reduced their income. During this period, many of them experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression, however, due to the restrictive conditions, they did not have access to professional care, except for those they had through online or telephone platforms.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) describes mental health as an integral part of health in all areas (physical, mental and social), and clarifies that it goes beyond the absence of mental illness. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, more than 25% of the world’s population suffers from mental and behavioral disorders at some point in their lives.
What to do if you feel depressed
It is very important to know that maintaining stable mental health leads to reducing the risks of maladjustment in all contexts of life: family, couple, study, community, work, friends, among others.
Unfortunately, today society is experiencing dizzying and accelerated times, which lead to constant competition, enhanced by social networks, which undermines the state of people, especially the youngest, who often do not seek professional help because they prioritize the myths and stigmas imposed by lack of knowledge.
According to the experts, although it is true that economic vulnerability is a social determinant that affects people’s mental health, but so are loneliness, abandonment, separation, family indifference, anguish, stress, saturation, social pressure, uncertainty, workplace harassment, bullying and violence, and since people are indivisible beings, emotions affect the rest of their personal, work and physical spheres.
Here are a series of tips to people who feel depressed:
- When you feel that there are emotional changes, sadness, discouragement, reluctance, or other feelings, seek professional help or a trusted support network.
- While it is true that health issues are private, your employer may be able to provide support if they are aware of your condition. Otherwise, they might misinterpret a change in your behavior as a performance issue.
- Don’t be afraid to look to Human Resources or your boss for an ally to help you channel any breaks, readjust your workloads or schedules if necessary.
- Being open with your co-workers about the condition you are experiencing can help prevent rumors or gossip.
- If your performance or productivity has changed, telling your coworkers is more likely to be understanding.
Now, if your mental illness does not affect your ability to do your job and you do not need any adjustments in hours or workloads and you think that discussing it at work may reduce your opportunities or generate discrimination, then seek outside professional help. and maintain trusted support networks.
Regarding how to support a person with emotional problems, both specialists provided some advice:
- Look around your immediate environment to see if someone needs support, because the problem is that when someone goes through a difficult situation or a crisis, they don’t have the ability to ask for help.
- When a person needs your attention and support, suggest they talk in a private space, away from computers, phones, and interruptions.
- Allow the person to begin speaking in their own time.
- Be warm and empathic by showing concern with your verbal and non-verbal expression.
- Actively listen and let people speak without interrupting.Be encouraging, asking open-ended questions such as What happened next?
- When someone is distressed, they may become distracted or confused. So help him recap.
Remember that your role is not to solve the problems of your relative, colleague or friend, although it is true that you can offer some advice, the important thing is to help them seek professional help.