Two things that happened in the past week or so have me feeling heartened about how we support one another and the fact that we can all make a difference by having a mental health conversation.
Someone rang me as they noticed that a person we both know had changed behaviour, withdrawn from normal activities, they hadn’t seen them recently and had noticed that they weren’t active on social media. There may be many reasons for this but their gut instinct was feeling like something was off so they did something about it – which was fabulous – a few phone calls later, a check in with the person they were concerned about ensured that they were seen, heard and were seeking help.
I was at a function recently, and my anxiety unexpectedly reared its head as it was all too much – hello panic attack. I was completely overstimulated with competing sounds, bright lights and a lot of peopling. I saw someone I knew who was on the edge of the room (a lot easier to integrate the environment for me) and went and sat with them. I thought I was hiding it well but straight away they asked me if I was okay and checked in about whether it was physical or mental, they then went onto talk to me about normal stuff which grounded me all while the event was going on around us. It wasn’t a big song and dance, just an acknowledgement and gentle normalish interaction that meant so much and I was able to recover safely.
Both of these people noticed something, they could have easily ignored it and got on with their day but this demonstrates the impact we can all have on one another. This isn’t just leaving it to the experts or waiting for complete crisis, this is everyday humaning where you notice that something is a little different and you connect to check in, support and be with another. It gives me hope that we are getting somewhere with mental health literacy and action.
pic from Botanic Gardens Adelaide – one of my favourite places to stroll through and ground and thankfully across the road from the studio!