WARNING: This article is going to be discussing mental health issues and how showing positive emotions to loved ones and strangers could change their state of mind. If you or anyone you know have had thoughts of suicide or need someone to talk to, The Life Line Canada Foundation provides chat lines, coping mechanisms, e-counselling, self management, and even a list of warning signs to help you handle mental illness. Also, Toronto Distress Centre has a 408 helpline in case you are in distress or in need of emotional support. Lastly, under any circumstance in which you are in an emergency, please call 911.
Mental health has become a prominent issue in our society. I have a loved one who is dealing with a mental illness, and it is tough to see them in a vulnerable state. Some of us have or know someone who has a mental illness and our thought process goes to the fact that we should never make them feel that they’re alone. This past winter break, my hometown experienced 3 suicides. I did not know the victims, but I heard from some people who knew them that they expected this to happen.
When I hear about suicide stories, my obvious reaction is to feel heartbroken. I always tell everyone around me why it’s important to stay in touch with people you say you care about. Even if you haven’t spoken to this person for a month, it makes a huge difference in their day. We never know what people are going through. Someone with the biggest smile on their face could be feeling something so terrible inside.
Photo by burak kostak
Just showing someone that you care even in the slightest way is an amazing feeling. Loneliness is something we can adapt to quickly. For myself, when I hear from someone I have not heard from in a while, it’s great because that person was thinking about me. Like I said before, showing that you care means a lot. Showing support to my loved ones is always my number one priority.
There are many opportunities for you to be there for others. For example, if you see someone going through a death in their family, it’s always safe to say that you’re there for them in case they need someone to talk to. We all go through death differently. Or even if someone is going through a rough break up, be there for them. Even if you have not spoken to this person for quite a while. That type of attention can give someone strength to go through the difficult time in their life.
Photo by Elle Hughes
Moving away from your friends and family, I experienced mild depression. I moved 4 hours away from home and I did not know anyone. It took awhile for me to open up to people and make new friends. As soon as I started meeting new people, my depression quickly went away. If you have friends who are preparing to move away from home, be there for them. Visit them when you have the chance to. It could make a big difference to them. We never want to feel forgotten by our friends back home so showing that you still want them in your life means a lot.
Mental illness is a very serious issue in our society and we need to always be aware that anybody could be suffering. Our loved ones, our peers, coworkers, professors, even the strangers we see on campus. Little deeds go a long way. Smile at someone even if they don’t smile back and hold the door for someone even if you don’t get the door held for you. I could write a thousands reasons why it is important to do a good deed and to be nice to someone every day, but I believe that we all experience that loving, warm feeling inside us when someone shows us that they care. Spread kindness every day.