By Nancy Virden (c)2023
Myths about mental health care are quoted, reprinted, made up, and reinforced daily by misinformed leaders, disappointed patients, and know-it-alls. I heard a teacher tell her class of high school students that going to a counselor was for emergencies only. A pastor repeated the myth to his congregation that suicide rates are worst during the fall holidays. Patients who have not followed the instructions of their psychiatrists or therapists will complain that mental health care “does not work.” Know-it-alls such as the braggart ex-psychiatric nurse who told hospitalized adolescents to not “play the suicide card” with her, will assume their expertise and do not appreciate being corrected.
One of the reasons we have suicidal crises is people do not seek help before their situation has reached an emergency level. Talking out our feelings and confusing thoughts with someone who knows how to listen and guide us is a first step toward optimum mental health, not the last. Repeating incorrect statistics about suicide in November and December causes problems such as not being so alert in the spring when rates do tend to rise. Neglecting to notice the role patients play in their own well-being leaves us blaming a system that helps to restore at least 80% of patients who do the work. Finally, giving credence to medical workers who are untrained in psychiatric issues such as psychiatric nurses and general practitioners, gives a false sense of understanding as they spout opinions over knowledge.
You are in charge of your mental health. Seek the best care.
Today’s Helpful Word
Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart
Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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