I was informed by a friend the other day who had attended a talk on mental health, and she had thought that the speaker had done an excellent job. She referred the related website to me, and I had a look. My initial concern was that the person who was in charge did not seem to have any qualifications yet had managed to open several sites to help those with specific mental health problems.
I then reflected on this and thought how ambiguous this can be, as there can be professionals out there who have all the qualifications that are needed and yet who still mismanage, and don’t understand the depth and real issues of mental health. Experience is a valuable asset and this can give a good understanding of what is needed. Yet what may be good advice for one person may not be the same good advice for another as everyone is different and needs can be varied.
I don’t knock those who haven’t got qualifications if they can manage to support and help others, I personally think a combination is a good thing, if someone has the experience of mental health problems and has qualifications, not forgetting that there are also many fantastic professionals about whose experience of helping has given great insight. I also think that sometimes the information needed to help others should be read with an open mind as sometimes it can be applicable and relevant to some people, but not everyone.
I personally read some sites and in my personal view the ones that are good boil down to good common sense. One of the biggest helpers who has supported me in the past happens to be a neighbour and a friend who previously did not have any experience of mental health, but she had good common sense and knew what to do at the right time.
I think sites can be important and outside help, as sometimes people cannot turn to the people they love and their friends for support. External support can be a vital option, the knowledge that support can be available even if not used, can make a significant difference.
One of the key issues in gaining support in mental health is learning who you can turn to and actually learning who does help you the most. It might not necessarily mean the same thing.
If you can identify which support is the most useful this can boost your progress by leaps and bounds. Being able to have the correct support opens many doors and can be the start of believing in yourself and gaining confidence and self esteem to overcoming the problems and learning how to manage them and achieve the next target in your well being. Once people start feeling better and believing in themselves then they can achieve so much more. The progress is also so reliant on acceptance that there may be some bad days but that is normal and that 3 steps forward and one step back is still progression.
I think there are some brilliant mental health sites available that give good support, yet I also think that some sites are not appropriate to everyone. The key is learning to know yourself and to know which information could be of use and which is not appropriate. The same message could go for advice off people as well, as not everyone gets it right all the time.
I think the availability of support is a good thing if people can recognise which support is the most appropriate and helpful for them.