The above picture is one of the best graphic metaphors…
I shall start this brief but essentially vital message by reiterating the title of it. Mental Health Management, we need to be helped to help ourselves… Not a pill, nor a long consultation will give us the KICK START needed. Our inner self has got to want it!
Outside help is so important, we must trust others (but if possible we choose who the ‘helper’ is going to be. In many cases, one of the causes of ‘trauma’ comes from within the familiar circles.
And I insist, asking for help doesn’t mean giving away our rights or responsibilities for our own recovery and treatment. Being temporarily mentally ill is not a death sentence or a final ‘destiny’. And that is one of the reasons why I talk about ‘Mental Health’ management. This is a strategy or a plan which we manage ourselves (yet, possibly helped by others…
A short or long consultation with a GP, psychiatrist or psychologist may help. And a pill or two at times may also help to give us a badly needed KICK START. Our inner self has got to want it! – This our job, to press the ‘starter-button’
I have for a long time utilised the metaphoric analogy of a HEAVY TRUCK, where
- The patient is in the driving seat. And all others are the WHEELS who support the LOAD. When the patient is unable to do it, the best is to choose the closest PERSON, selected by the patient (when willing and able)
- On the right goes the CARER or family member (if ok with patient)
- On the left the chosen PROFESSIONAL
- So on and so forth with the interdisciplinary team (psych nurse, and other therapists
- Medication is NOT IT, just another wheel
- Fitness is another, and so is Nutrition
- The Friends, etc. etc.
- Add as many wheels as you wish (10-12-15)
This is the beginning of a Mental Health Management Plan (it has been around for 100’s of years. Pre-Big Pharma, patients were treated very humanly and in a considerate manner, quite often out in the countryside with vegetation and animals as their companions of the journey (let me assure you much more trustworthy than some humans wanting to reap some benefit$ out of your condition. Yes you guessed it, some nasty families used to put “away” the poor soul, (‘Out of sight out of mind’).
For the last 50 years or so, Bureaucrats, Politicians and The Law decided that at HOME those patients will be best cared for, really? Well, yes those with healthy hearts and wealthy pockets may have… The thin was and if, get them out of the way, out of their will and won’t. Many sweetheart deals have been struck between ubiquitous professionals, lawyers and relatives so to squeeze the proverbial lemon…
So, back to the central point of my article,… the first and best act of support towards an unwell person quite commonly is overlooked.
Whether friend, workmate, or stranger we all have this ability to LIFT those who feel down and lost in this world. PLEASE… no questioning, just company. When, and if they want to share something good, just listen empathetically! JOB WELL DONE.
“We all deserve to be helped and listened to by other human beings who decide to give us a few minutes, hours, days. This also means WE NEED TO HELP OURSELVES! – A healthy and prosperous 2022 to all. Remember that we are here, not too bad, isn’t it?
Enrique TOPO Rodriguez,
MHMP&S (Mental Health Management Plans & Strategies)