Watching the Palau Presidential Conference dated 04 May 2022, a topic was discussed, which hit close to home and that is Mental Health Disorders.

Mental health disorders vary in types and levels. This article is about sharing information to enlighten the community about mental health issues.

Some common mental health disorders are:

  • Anxiety Disorder.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Bipolar Disorder.
  • Depression.
  • Eating Disorder
  • Psychosis.
  • Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Co-occurring Substance Use Disorder and Addiction.

Some types of treatments or counseling can be done with inpatient and outpatient clinical visits. Something to think about is telehealth sessions. Treatments and counseling depend on the availability in the region.

 Telehealth sessions are private and helps patients with privacy issues and are done remotely. It helps the patient who lacks the means of transportation or fears being labeled from society as different or weak. The privacy helps relax the patient to be more open to get to the root cause of their disorder and get the right help they need.

Experiencing any mental disorder is not a choice nor is it welcomed by the sufferer. Hence, the reason for the community to be educated about mental health conditions, to encourage kinder language and be more empathetic, but more importantly not stigmatized those who are suffering with the illness.

Some factors that can cause mental health conditions:

  • Childhood, adult and elders abuse, trauma, or neglect.
  • Social isolation or loneliness.
  • Experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism.
  • Social disadvantage, poverty or debt.
  • Bereavement (losing someone close to you)
  • Severe or long-term stress.
  • Having a long-term physical health condition.
  • Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco use. (Addiction-causing other health issues)
  • Shaming.
  • Bullying.
  • Gossips and rumors

Educating the community to tackle inequalities and to look at the social, economic and environmental issues that can cause mental stresses and to promote a cohesive community. It also helps to reduce the stigmatization on mental health conditions.

Some benefits from a cohesive community are:

  • Inclusiveness.
  • Raising awareness.
  • Involvement in community programs.
  • Youth engagement.
  • Protecting children from trauma.
  • Educating young people to understand and manage their emotions.
  • Supporting people under a lot of stress at work by promoting work/life balance.
  • Reducing loneliness for older people by building connections within communities (social interactions, projects, i.e. teaching local crafts to young people, taking care of pets, group gardening (vegetables, flowers), etc.
  • Caring for people with suicidal thoughts.
  • Helping people to recover and look after themselves.

Being vigilant in the work force. Create a non-toxic environment to alleviate stress and anxiety.  An inclusive environment empowers the mental health sufferer to actively and openly seek help, because they have a sense of safety and belonging in a caring community.

Here’s a few self care tips:

  • Learning something new that interests you and can be enjoyable, i.e., creating new crafts, gardening, etc.
  • Feed your mind with positive thoughts.
  • Practice meditation, while listening to meditating or relaxing music. (Check YouTube)
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Drink calming teas like Jasmine, Lavender and Blueberry with Acai
  • Treat yourself to a massage
  • Eat healthy
  • Go for a walk & exercise
  • Maintain a daily journal
  • Connect with a Faith Community or a person in Faith you trust.
  • Do volunteer work
  • Communicate and seek help.

Untreated or undetected mental health conditions can result in unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, self harm, poor quality of life and can be the root cause of numerous non communicable diseases.

Consult with a qualified health care provider for diagnosis, treatments and answers to questions about a particular mental disorder.

And just be kinder…

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