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Mental health issues

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  • Mental health issues

    There are obviously people who come here to let off steam, for sympathy and empathy, understanding and some basic advice from others who have been through similar experiences. This can work very well, although I notice the support given, often doesn't provide a standardised way of dealing with it, i.e. methods of logging chronologically, the events that have occurred, and prioritised methodology of approaching those who can help (housing associations, council, environmental health, MPs and police - in that order, for example.) This could be improved.

    It seems that there are also people who arrive and dump an enormous amount of pent up emotion, and possibly expect to get some kind of fix for their problems. The response of being sympathetic to everything they write is somewhat destructive. It would help if people offering advice were to understand some of the basics of counselling, if that is the route they would like to pursue.

    Client centred counselling is the most basic of techniques, where you must, at all costs, keep the 'client' on topic. Any distraction from the facts, for example discussing the motives of the 'trouble makers' is at least, unproductive, and could serve to increase the persons fears. The resolution should be to deal with the facts and what the person can do to change the situation they are in. Reflection plays a big part in counselling, and seeing as we cannot work with body language when on a forum, it becomes an essential part of understanding. The idea is to repeat back to the person, what they are stating. It gives them a chance to consider, modify, clarify, deny or confirm what they are saying, and this gives the listener more understanding and possibly the ability to help in a more appropriate way. It's important to understand that this technique still provides the client with the extremely valuable reassurance that they have been listened to.

    It is an unfortunate fact that between 1/3 and 1/4 of us will have some kind of mental health problem in our life. Please understand, I'm not simply suggesting that people who have existing mental health problems come and say things that are a result of mental illness. It is very likely that as a result of dealing with a bully, troublemakers, or indeed other people that may have mental health issues, could in fact push someone so far, that they in turn end up in a state that is 'less than stable'. Many counsellors request that a client should visit their GP in order to get a general health overview from a professional, because they acknowledge that people can have underlying conditions that can and should be dealt with to make their recovery more likely. This also includes physical conditions such as hypothyroidism, which can have an extreme effect on a persons physical and mental functioning. It is not that the listener has to suggest a mental illness, but they could encourage the person to seek help for obvious anxiety, which may bring them in to contact with the right people. It would also be helpful to provide a list of contacts, including the Samaritans, Crisis or other organisations that could help when the going gets tough.

    I would like to think that the forum could help more people, but there are threads which clearly die, because no-one can offer any sort of solution for people who continuously inflate (or embellish) their list of problems, and are not interacting very well with those that offer support, i.e. they are not listening to or providing answers to the person helping them.

    My qualifications are nothing other than having four life long mental health conditions, hypothyroidism, and a lot of problems at work and in society with people who simply don't (or don't want to) understand. I am not an expert, but would encourage forum users to be open minded and not to avoid the elephant in the room that is mental illness.