These are stressful times. No one knows when they’ll be back to work. No one knows if they or someone they love will get sick. No one knows how they’re going to pay their bills, put food on the table, or anything else we (for the most part) normally take for granted.
Even if you’re not normally someone who has anxiety, depression, or any of a host of other psychological problems, it’s possible, perhaps even likely, you’ll develop them at least for the short term. Not only is that absolutely normal, it might even be expected.
I cannot stress enough, THERE IS NO SHAME. Many of us have grown up thinking if we have a mental illness we need to hide that fact from everyone. I’m not saying you have to include that information immediately after your name when introducing yourself to someone, and if you feel more comfortable keeping it to yourself that’s perfectly all right as well. But please, if you’re feeling off somehow, not your normal self, anxious, depressed, or heaven forbid thinking about harming yourself or others, reach out. It doesn’t have to be to anyone you know, and it can be completely confidential.
The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative Steering Committee is aware that the current health crisis is not just physical, but mental, and they’re providing the tools to help you deal with it. In their words…
Finding help when you are going through a difficult time can be overwhelming. A simple internet search can result in hundreds of pages and links and different terminology which can further complicate seeking help. We hope these resource links provide a simple, straightforward way for you to find assistance.
Best part? Completely anonymous. Completely private unless YOU choose to share. Completely free.
There are several screenings, and it’s up to you how many you wish to take. They range from general well-being to specific concerns you may have about your behaviour. You don’t have to take them all, just the ones you feel might apply to you. Or you can take them all just in case you’re not aware of a problem… It’s all up to you!
The screening is for EVERYONE, not just those who think they may need help. It will provide you with information that will allow you to decide if you would benefit from the help of a mental health professional. Immediately at the end of each screening you will be provided with results, recommendations, and sources that can help.
I’m going to repeat myself. THERE IS NO SHAME. It’s not a thing I routinely announce although I’m certainly not shy about it, and I don’t think there’s anyone who knows me well who isn’t aware… I’ve been seeing a mental therapist pretty much every week for a little over a year. It helps, even if you don’t have a specific mental illness. If nothing else, you sit in a room with someone for an hour who has to listen to whatever you want to talk about!
If you want to take any of the screenings, and I sincerely, with every fiber of my being, encourage you to do so, please visit https://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/behind-the-scenes
If you prefer to skip the screenings and go directly to finding resources, Behind the Scenes has compiled a list of places to find help, categorized by problem https://wp.behindthescenescharity.org/mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-initiative/resources-2/
There is help. You are not alone. Many things that seem overwhelming and unbearable can be overcome given the proper tools. Times are tough, and we have to support each other. Union is family, and family takes care of one another. I know the main focus of this post has been seeking help, but check on each other as well. You never know when a call, a text, an email, an instant message, can make the difference for someone who is feeling alone, isolated, and without hope. Reach out to your friends, your co-workers. See if they need anything. We are all in this together, and we can help each other get through it.