These Five Signs Say: Help!
By: Mollie Marti, PhD, JD
“Humans are tribal beings, designed to give and receive help. We need each other in so many ways. If you are breathing, you are a helper.” – Mollie Marti
Across the nation, we see communities full of compassionate people with a desire to make life a little easier for others. We also see many people feel that they lack the ability or tools to help with another’s mental or emotional pain. Although mental health can be a complicated issue, there are some guideposts to light the way.
A smart place to start is to know the signs of when additional help might be needed to support or even save a life. As a Pledge partner for the Campaign to Change Direction, the National Resilience Institute strives to destigmatize mental health issues and mobilize helpers. Created by Give an Hour, the American Psychological Association, and other national partners, this collaboration educates about the Five Signs of emotional pain.
We urge you to watch for these signs that someone might need help:
- Personality Change: not acting like the person you know him or her to be.
- Agitation: showing severe moodiness, anger, or anxiety.
- Withdrawn: spending more time alone.
- Poor Self-Care: disregarding self-care or engaging in risky behaviors.
- Hopeless: feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.
The majority of Americans will experience mental health issues from time to time. Use these Five Signs as a call for help. What should you do when you see signs that someone is suffering? Connect, inspire hope, and offer practical help.
Extend compassion and listen. Give reminders that situations change and that there is always hope for a better future. If needed, reach out to others who share your concern. Show a willingness to help take the next best step towards a solution. This might mean encouraging a visit to a physician or mental health professional, identifying resources in your community, or offering a ride to an appointment.
If immediate help is needed, stay with the person and call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This national network of local crisis centers is available around the clock to provide free and confidential emotional support to people in emotional distress.
Humans are tribal beings, designed to give and receive help. We need each other in so many ways. If you are breathing, you are called to be a helper. May we continue to walk together towards a world where all can realize that they are not alone and that help is always available.