A lot of people can relate to the fact that for a long time, mental health illnesses seemed like something other people have; something present, but not tangible. It was just this abstract thing that existed out there that we felt could never come home to roost in our backyards. However, in the last 10 years, statistics show that mental health issues have increased exponentially among the Youth, by 71-78%.

That means that a lot more Youth are dealing with different mental health issues. And maybe you find yourself falling in this pool. Maybe you have been struggling for a long time, or maybe you just recently found out about it. Whichever the case, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay not to be okay, and that there’s hope.

The first time coming out with a mental health struggle is always the hardest because of the perceived stigma surrounding mental health. But there are a few things you can do to help you through the experience. For one, ensure you accept yourself and love yourself as you are before sharing with other people. Dealing with a mental illness is not something a lot of people are prepared for, but if there’s an anchor of self-love and self-acceptance, it will be just another facet of life that needs to be attended to, as opposed to this thing that takes over your identity and self-worth.

Please know that you are not the only one, and it doesn’t mean there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. Many people have learnt to cope with, manage and even overcome mental illnesses. Talk to people you trust. Find people who will understand and not make you feel judged and or like you’re going crazy. Find a way forward together in your circle of trust, including finding a certified practitioner whom you can see for the mental health help you need. This spans from trained psychologists, to psychiatrists, to complementary interventions. (Seeing a counsellor while on medication.)

Trust the process. You shall get better. All your experiences will help you understand how to cope for your unique situation. Make sure to follow everything your mental health practitioner prescribes, including taking your medicine religiously and attending your therapy sessions, while doing the work. Let the people around you know what you need from them, and how they can be there for you. And don’t even allow space for the thought that you are a burden. You are never a burden.

Finally, if you are a Christian, pray over it and seek healing from Christ. By His stripes we are healed. He is able to deliver you from any illness. He says nothing is too hard for Him.

It can be utterly overwhelming to go through a mental illness, and even more so if you are doing it alone. Please reach out to someone, and let them help you through it. Feel free to reach us as well, on 0757112233, and we shall refer you to the relevant professionals. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay.

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