This morning I got up, had a great breakfast, kissed my wife, pet my dogs and went off to work. As I drove off to a job I love I realized what a happy life I have. The radio announced that it is Let’s Talk day to help raise awareness and funds to help fight mental illness. As the sunrise was coming up over the city my thoughts continued in this direction and I tried to imagine what individuals afflicted with mental illness go through. What do these people look like? How did this happen to them? Why did this happen to them? I found I was having difficulty relating as I have such a great life. I know what it is like to have a broken bone, a severe cut, the flu, pneumonia, I have even experienced cancer but people with a mental disease suffer in silence, and usually, without any physical signs – most don’t seek help!
So what can I do to help? I can reach out, start conversations and then listen – I was once told at a very young age I had one mouth and two ears – say no more. It is important to get people talking and let them express themselves, let them share their feelings. When they do open up, I can't be judgmental, I can’t dismiss or minimize their feelings – I can’t tell them they are wrong and should not feel that way. I need to emphasize and support them – I need to listen.
What can you do? Start the conversation and listen!
Jamie Pritchard is President of Roxton Industries – All things clean!
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