Don’t dismiss well-being before you’ve explored it properly

There are a number of treatment options for people struggling with poor mental health.

Some of those treatments involve medication or specialist staff but others are really simple and do not require anything other than time and commitment. There may be a long wait before your loved one can be assessed and assigned treatment which can be frustrating and it can feel like a ‘waiting game’ for treatment to start and things to begin to get better.

But there are things that you can do whilst you wait for assessmnet that can stop things getting worse or that can prevent layers of coping strategies or harmful behaviours creating more problems.

I wish I hadn’t relied on Mental Health Services to solve all our problems. By the time we did get an appointment, so many of their suggestions and treatment plans were things I could have been putting in place already. We wasted a year ‘waiting.’ Hindsight is a wonderful, if very annoying thing.

The suggestions below will not only help your loved one – they’ll help everyone. Eating less sugar, getting exercise, working on your 5 a day and getting into a sleep routine are things that everyone in the household can participate in together and that in itself will create a sense of control and working together.

The basics

It’s understandable when faced with overwhelming mental health problems to assume that ‘self-help solutions’ aren’t going to help. Too often these are dismissed by patients and relatives as ridiculous suggestions or they cause anger and a feeling that you aren’t being taken seriously.

You have nothing to lose by trying these things – they might help and feeling like you are doing ‘something’ can add an element of control and action which in itself can be helpful.

More cynical people might believe that healthcare professionals promote wellbeing as a way of keeping people away from over-stretched mental health services. Even if that was true, putting the suggestions below in place whilst you wait, will save time when you do get an appointment because these are all the things you’ll be asked to try first.

It’s really easy when life seems chaotic and out of control to become disorganised and lurch for crisis to chaos and back again. At some point, you have to take control and get back to a routine and some kind of organisation. Sleep, food, exercise – it all seems so boring and simple but it really does help everyone.

Ellen, A Mum