Mental health

The past week has been very tough on many of us! Multitude of incidents in close circles – that I felt the urge to write about! Of the, one specific incident made me feel the importance of talking about mental health of not just us, but children and parents and grand parents as well!

One of the families in my close circle was hospitalized and the father of the family passed away. Mother and children recovered and came back home after two weeks. The daughter checks on her friends and reaches out wishing friends on their birthdays and consoles them about how she could understand how they might be feeling bad that they could not celebrate their birthday!

People dealing with PTSD, Grandparents, mothers, IT professionals get determined and take up a goal to sew masks to support the medical professionals!

Autistic children, children with disabilities help their parents in making masks, sewing headbands!

NY colleges close and students cannot return to their country and their friends’ parents take them under their wing and keep them safe!

COVID-19 survivors continue to check their symptoms and volunteer for plasma donation to save others!

So many so many more such heartwarming incidents! I used to wait to wake up to keep myself positive with the inspiring stuff from all the people across the community – ready and willing to help others in need, looking out for one and all.

Felt heart-wrenching pain when I heard of a student who had returned home felt they did not have anything to do during the lockdown, after eating breakfast went to their room and committed suicide! I just could not find myself capable of getting over this. How I wish the student has given a teeny-tiny hint to his parents about how he was feeling. How would they be feeling now amidst all the chaotic situation. It is not easy for one to get over this!

I realized, it can happen to anyone at this point. All of us are feeling tied down. Those who are academically oriented are used to an operating structure – taking them out of it and putting them in a space where no skill they have till date seems relevant at this juncture is not something that everyone can deal with. There is no walk in the park, no driving outside, no going to school, no cafeteria talks, cooler talks, hanging out with friends, peer chats.. yes.. we all are missing it, but something keeps us busy. Something makes us wake up in the morning and look forward to the day! Something that keeps us going.. everyone needs that something to look forward to – Every single day of their lives!

Unfortunately, life has its share of ups and downs and those who are older know that well and might have learned how to deal with the ups and downs and have necessary support systems (if not – they need one as well..). However, children – especially teens are not used to this. They need an external source of motivation in their life! They are used to getting appreciated for their good work.. they know what is punishment! They do not understand how to operate in a lack of operating framework! Schools canceled, exams canceled, everyone is treated equal and colleges waive off scores for admissions, the efforts they have put in is in vain. There does not seem to be a reason to do anything – because nothing that was told as important seems to be holding importance to them in their lives anymore.

When I look at the PTSD moms, disabled children – they seem to have picked up a goal to help others during the crisis and feel motivated to wake up and go through the day! Watching news and getting depressed is not their choice – they reversed the state and said – How can we help someone with what we have during this crisis? If none of the skills we have works for us, it just means it is time for us to identify and pick up a new skill – something that is a life skill, that keeps us going.

I request EVERY single parent who is reading this – to please have a conversation with your own family – especially children, adults, relatives and then expand to friends and community. Even if they shut you out initially (maybe generation gap), still do not give up – ask them a simple question. If you were to make a choice, would you choose to live? Adult or child, or any age group – if the answer is No – spend time with them. Talk to them. Make them talk. Listen. Sometimes, adults breakdown during the conversation and sometimes children.

Stay healthy and stay connected!

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