In support of the World Mental Health Day, it is important to reiterate what mental health is and who suffers from it. Everyone has mental health and needs to take care of it. Good mental health is feeling and reacting in the ways you need and want; bad mental health is difficult or at times makes it seem impossible to react and feel in the way that you want. Without support, bad mental health evolves, and can eventually become depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar and/or many other mental disorders.
Whilst we, we need everyone to be at least aware that within their environment everyone has a mental issue, the only difference being, others can cope and others can’t. Since that is the case, it is vital we eradicate the suffering, this can be done by showing concern to our family, friends as well as our work colleagues. We can show concern by listening to why someone’s behaviour has changed, why someone is suddenly sad all the time, isolated, always angry, eating less or depressed, generally feeling or reacting in a negative manner.
In our clinic health questionnaires, we tend to dig in for more information beyond the reported problem, to try to uncover the underlying cause of their problem. At the time of the consultations, we tend to ask further questions which usually unmask information which is vital and at times ignored as it may seem irrelevant to the patient’s reported problem. In the time we have with the patient, it is important for us to build a rapport and allow the patient to give us their health history, including their psychological issues, which isn’t always the easiest information to gather from a patient.
Questions asking the severity of sleeping problems, irritability, nervousness, depressive mood, low motivation, lack of energy etc. are important for us to know, to help support overall health.
When patients walk in and come in with a complaint of chronic fatigue, their primary concern could be frequent headaches, disturbed sleep patterns, muscle and joint pains, and want these symptoms immediately reversed, however, it is vital that they are aware that we know and care they deliver their mental state history. We may not be Psychologists/Psychotherapists/Psychiatrists but we certainly refer to these experts if needed, but most importantly we care and listen. After all, your mental health can directly affect your physical health.
Mental health support does not necessarily need to be clinically treated, it is important that if you or someone else needs help, talk to someone you feel comfortable talking to about it. In a clinic setting, one should feel much more comfortable to talk to clinician as it is our role to support patients’ wellbeing.
For further information or if in need of mental health support please follow this link: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/