Mental health – more important than you might think…
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For a long time mental health issues have been stigmatised and rarely taken seriously. People suffering from anxiety, depression and the likes, have been told to just shake it off and pull themselves together. Sadly, this is not necessarily possible and mental health is becoming a more pressing issue than ever before.

Few people understand what a panic attack is. It can be absolutely numbing and extremely frightening to say the least. Many people actually end up in hospital thinking they are having a heart attack or something else is extremely wrong, only to find that it was their body going into full fear mode after a brief episode of intense anxiety. Common signs are a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling and muscle tension and comprise the body’s response to intensely stressful or dangerous situations.

In this pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many people have suffered loss; of income, of freedom, of loved ones, of socialising normally etc. What makes these times different is that people suffer loss, across all age, race and cultural boundaries, worldwide. The children at school suffer loss of teaching time, loss of extramural activities, loss of parties with friends. Adults might suffer loss of income, loss of security and also loss of stability in providing for their families. The elderly suffer loss of friends and peers, loss of visiting time with family and friends.

It is extremely important that we continue reaching out for support in these trying times. Trauma is currently experienced by all people, across the globe. We need to reach out when times are tough. When we think we cannot go on, first pick up the phone and speak to someone. Sometimes just sharing your load by voicing it already makes the burden lighter to carry.

It is also important that we have professional people available to assist our healthcare workers who experience loss of life and trauma in the worst way, on the frontline, every single day. Trauma counselling should be a priority. People need to talk about what they have been through. For an individual his or her trauma is the worst. If you haven’t walked a step in someone’s shoes, you cannot assume to know what they have been through.

We need to reach out to our loved ones, our friends, our work colleagues, even ex-colleagues. A message or phone call could change a person’s day. Never underestimate what it could mean to someone to share their load by talking about it. It is high time that the stigma attached to mental health is erased. Anyone can suffer from mental illness. It usually comes unexpectedly like a thief in the night. We are very good at pretending that all is fine on the surface. Life via social media channels is seemingly perfect, smooth sailing, but in truth it is actually the opposite.

Medwell SA specialises in providing managed home health care as an alternative to long-term hospitalisation and care in specialised facilities. Medwell SA’s service offering includes managed care at home, post-hospitalisation and discharge from rehabilitation facilities as well as the supply of all needed medical equipment through our incorporated partner EDNA Medical Distributors. Medwell SA’s services are offered to all age groups including the elderly that have become frail and those with Dementia.

For more information, send an e-mail to info@medwell.co.za

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