Dealing with Mental Health: ‘How can I look after myself’

It’s often said in most mental health sectors that we must take steps to look after our mental health daily. On first basis, that looks an easy prospect but when you take a closer look, is it really that easy? As a young man who comes from a Caribbean background, dealing with mental health has often been pushed aside or not really talked about much because in some quarters ‘it doesn’t exist’, or it’ll get better day by day. Having to be around comments like that can seem like it is a crime to even mention mental health.

This needs to change, we need to arrive at a place where we can be comfortable to talk about mental health, it needs to be discussed openly and looked at more closely. Men, in particular I believe are prone to suffering from mental health and it is something that is becoming prevalent in this day and age. There’s many eyes that may surround to someone who may feel like their mental health is not as good as it can be, this could be down to fatherlessness, peer pressure and also life in general, having to meet certain standards as young men of today.

As a young man who comes from a Caribbean background, dealing with mental health has often been pushed aside or not really talked about much.

So, as a young people, how can we spot signs of depression?

Focus………. If the focus is not 100% or there isn’t that same intensity as there normally is, this could be an indication that all is not well within the camp and it would be worth having a discussion and to see what’s wrong.

Isolation……… Have you noticed a fellow brother or sister who seems to be distant, not engaging or not even communicating? This could be a sign that may be struggling with a few things and so just need someone to talk to.

Stress……… Exam stress, assignments, work stress, day to day stress, family life. All of these components can add up to someone and lead them to depression.

These are just some of the signs however, just how can we keep ourselves well?

Keep a diary – Each day, write down what you have done and how well you did. Focus on the positives, this will help boost confidence and self-esteem.

Have regular exercise – Talk a walk daily, maybe go to the gym and do things that will exercise the mind and will keep you active.

Take one step at a time – Fighting depression is a hard journey so it is vitally important that you take it one step at a time. Recognize when things are getting tough, take a rest and then start again.

Find a network of support – Having people you can talk to or just spend time with is very crucial. Do you have people that you can talk to? If so, why not set a weekly chat with them.

Seek wise counsel – Within the Christian community, seeking counsel is often frowned upon but seeking wise counsel is something that we should all do. To be in a place when the focus is on the issue rather than ourselves.

Moving forward, I believe Mental health should be discussed quite regularly in various quarters.  

By Ryan Osborne

Twitter: @ryan_ozzie

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