I was 7 months pregnant with my first child when my mother revealed that she wanted to commit suicide and struggles with clinical depression.
Needless to say- I felt numb and helpless. What could I do or say to change her mind? How could I carry that heavy burden and carry the first grandchild of the family? Did she not dream of becoming a grandmother... was she really going to miss this moment?
My mind went to a million places and I did my best to encourage her in that moment. Yet I also realized at that moment how little I knew about mental health or something as serious as suicide. My mother's mental wellness was my introduction to the field of mental health and she is part of what fuels my passion to find answers, support, and quality care.
This past Saturday, my children and I walked in the 2015 NAMI Walk in South Florida for my mom. She is still healing, growing, and learning each day. Yet, as a Coach and Metal Health Advocate, I have so much more information and resources to help support her wellness and see her thrive. Below are a few practical ways that I've learned family members can best support each other as it concerns mental wellness:
1.) Just listen. Have a judgement free space where family members know they can come to you for compassion and love, not condemnation and negative stares.
2.) Seek out a family counselor and stay consistent with care especially as life stressors change. This way, you can count on having a professional intentionally working on your behalf.
3.) Pray together as a family. Families that have strong relational or spiritual support typically recover from their emotional or mental imbalance faster than families or individuals who isolate. Isolation breeds destruction of your mind, relationships, and mental state. People thrive through relation and connection to other people.
If you or a family member has mental health concerns, make an appointment with me today firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or a family member is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org