Talking May Just Save a Life

People usually shy away from discussing the topic of mental health due to the intimidation of becoming vulnerable.


“Mental health is the health of the mind and we are just now getting in the habit of talking more openly about feelings,” said John Evan, clinical director and marriage counselor for Jordan West Family Counseling.


Having a healthy mind can be seen as taking care of thoughts and feelings. Some of the feelings that someone can feel are sadness, happiness, anger, and fear. Feeling sad after losing a game or feeling nervous before a test is completely normal, but feeling these things all the time and at an intense level can be diagnosed as a mental illness.


Mental illnesses are normal too. The difference between feeling emotions and a mental illness is that mental illnesses are extensive feelings felt over a long period of time. A few examples of common mental illnesses include anxiety, the feeling of fear and worry for what is to come over a vast amount of time. Depression, a condition that lowers one’s mood dramatically. OCD, also known as obsessive compulsive disorder. PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder, and addiction recovery.


Reacting to a conflicting event in a healthy manner is not an action everyone can easily do. Receiving a second opinion can be life-saving.“Mental health is involved in 100% of the suicide cases,” said Evan.


You don’t even have to talk to a counselor if that makes you uncomfortable. “Therapy shouldn’t be the first option because usually if you have a close family or people you trust, start there and work your way up,” said Evan. Even talking to a stranger may help.


“If there is ever a question like is what I’m experiencing okay, is this normal, turn to a trusted person. If you are worried about it, bring it up,” said Evan. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness or needs to talk to someone, reach out to anyone who can be trusted. National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, is an organization that provides support and gives information on mental conditions. The NAMI helpline you can call Monday through Friday 10am- 6pm, is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).