One of my major learnings from working with vulnerable communities over the last few years is, that where the mental health and well-being of that community are being challenged, by a multitude of issues, the most vulnerable people and the ones needing the most support in those communities are usually the people that don’t ask for it which leaves them isolated.
But how do you connect with those feeling vulnerable, isolated, overwhelmed, and struggling to reach out?
Power in connecting
One of the strategies I use is simply “Reach In”.
Checking in on people if you are concerned, making sure they are doing ok, and asking if there is any way you can help, even if they are complete strangers.
You don’t have to have all the answers, sometimes just showing up is enough. It can be as simple as sitting down and having a cuppa with them and listening, which can give them the bit of clarity and support to start them on that pathway for them to seek the help they need.
Stay connected to those in your community and support each other through the challenges, remembering that there is power in the community.
However, recognising when help and support are needed, either for yourself or someone else, is very important.
I learned vital lessons from my own journey. Here are 4 ways to combat isolation:
- Identify your support network. These are the people whom you love and trust and can call on for support when you are struggling to cope or simply need a chat.
- Communication is key. Communicating how you are feeling is hard and at times hardest with those who are closest to you. Having vital conversations can save lives.
- Stay connected. Staying connected to your community and support network helps negate the feeling of isolation especially when you are struggling. It also promotes conversation and gives you the opportunity to share and gain wisdom from those around you.
- Seek help. It is not always the easiest of steps, recognising the seriousness of a mental health challenge and the importance of gaining the right support can influence the rate of your recovery.
To normalise the conversation about mental health needs a whole community approach to nurture a safe environment that removes the stigma making it more acceptable for people to seek help. This starts with awareness and education, followed by acknowledgment and action.
Importance of mental health
Your mental health is critical to your overall health and well-being. You need good mental health to help you get through life’s challenges, have healthy relationships with others, and enjoy life.
It’s important to remember that when everything gets too much for you and you become overwhelmed, there are people, services, and resources that are there to help you— just reach out. It could make a huge difference in your life.
No one should travel their journey alone.
This guest blog is written by Warren Davies from Australia. He is known as “The Unbreakable Farmer”; he is a keynote speaker, a mental health advocate, and on a mission to develop resilient leaders and communities. You can learn more about Warren on his LinkedIn, Facebook, and website.
If there’s a need for you or any men on your team to open up conversations around mental health, feel free to schedule a strategy call here so we can support each other.