To my friends:
You go through mental health struggles that I don’t and will never have to face in my lifetime. You react to things differently and I respect that. I am unable to comprehend exactly what you’re up against. Opening up to me might be all you feel comfortable with and you aren’t ready to talk to anyone else about it, but I do my best to try to understand.
I know a small handful of things to be there for you in whatever way you request of me. Firstly, it’s not about me, not at all. My guilt and my helplessness isn’t of any significance to what you’re facing. I have noticed your suffering and it is valid and believed.
Secondly, talking to someone licensed with a degree is quite easier said than done. Obamacare or The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for many to receive mental health treatment for many people. However, the program has been threatened to be completely irradiated with no replacement plan to insure millions of Americans. Insurance helps reduce the cost of seeking professional help and with the political climate at this time, getting help for the betterment of your mental health is that much harder. Insurance also goes through adults when dependents are involved, which can be another barrier in receiving treatment. Everyone deserves the right to the pursuit of happiness, but I recognize it’s a much more complicated reality than suggesting an appointment to be made.
Thirdly, me or someone else telling you how to overcome a mental illness is never the way. I’ve learned by the mistakes of others in how they treat those who suffer from mental illness when they open up. It’s not about “toughing it out”, sitting in a chair for a designated hour, or a prescription. Stigmas suck.
Fourthly, as a friend, there is one thing I’ve learned to be better and better at: being a friend. To me that means being there for whatever needs or concerns arise. It’s all I’m qualified for and I am happy to be at your side. Having a mental illness doesn’t make you a burden. I’ve learned how to become a better listener because sometimes getting what you have to say heard helps you just a little bit.
Fifthly, you aren’t alone and you aren’t out of resources. There obstacles to therapy and treatment, but there are many resources besides me at your disposal.
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline: 1‑877‑726‑4727
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1‑800‑273‑8255