We all go through tough times, and need to handle our emotions
“I want people to know that mental illness is real. It’s very serious, and it’s not a joke. It’s like any other illness – malaria or typhoid or cancer – it’s real, and it can be deadly. People need support and care when they are struggling with their mental health.
I’m a Mental Health Support Worker in a hospital. I put my mind and spirit into my work. A lot of my work is one-to-one with people managing multiple conditions.
Often when I see them, they are in crisis, so I try to make sure they know I’m here to support them and keep them safe. I want to help them get to a point where they can live the life they want.
COVID has been challenging for people with mental illness and addictions. I’m seeing people come in more often because they’re isolated at home. They’ll leave feeling good and healthy, but come back in a few weeks because it’s so hard for them. I know they want to follow their health plan and stay safe, but being alone makes it difficult.
I want everyone to understand that you can’t judge people just because you see them doing one or two things. You aren’t in their shoes, feeling their pain. No one’s faking this. They need help, and they need support.
There’s a stigma that someone isn’t good or acceptable because they have a mental health issue or an addiction. If you let them think that they are who they are because of their illness – it hurts them. So, the earlier we draw them closer and offer help – the better chance they have at living a nice, long, comfortable life.
We all go through tough times, and need to handle our emotions. It’s easier when you ask for help. The people I take care of have asked for help, so I will work to get them through this.
And as COVID enters the next phase and people start going out and doing more things, seeing friends and family, taking their kids to the park or swimming, it will be easier for them.”
- Merow, Mental Health Support Worker, part of the health care team