The YUSA Guide to Depression & Anxiety: Helping Friends, Family & Loved Ones.

Here at YUSA we believe it is every single persons right to have access to the information which when applied supports a balanced an healthy state of mental well-being. The unfortunate reality is that life affects us all differently and we each have our own levels of emotional and mental resilience. That being said, we believe the most difficult battle anyone could expect to face is against oneself, who can argue that constantly being in debate over ones self-value, purpose and ability to"function normally" even in this world where the term normal has no standard.

You reading this here today are here because you have concerns for a friend, family member or loved one and are hoping to find out if your concerns are legitimate and if they're, exactly what you can do to help them back up on to their feet.

The inspiration behind putting this post together was the growing concerns voiced by the YUSA Community members on social media directing questions at us relating to the well-being of those around them. We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to every single individual who has contacted us both seeking advice and contributing their advice from experience, it's people like yourself with the courage to speak up that help raise the much-needed awareness this stigmatic topic requires to effectively help other suffers worldwide seek support and treatment.

With the desire to deliver this information in whichever way best serves you, we've also made the complete post available along with the relevant worksheets to download as a PDFs  enabling you to save them to your smartphones giving you access to whenever you need.

The YUSA Guide to Depression & Anxiety Helping Friends, Family Members & Loved Ones - PDF DOWNLOAD

To save having to download all of the worksheets in one large file, we have made them available individually in the relevant section, please use the content section below to navigate to the worksheet section to browse and select your desired worksheet.


CONTENTS.

1. Introduction

2. Taking Care of You.

3. What is Depression.

3.1. How to spot Depression

4. What is Anxiety.

4.1. How to spot Anxiety.

5. What Triggers Mental Health problems?

6.  How You Can & Can't Help.

7. What you Should & Should Not To Say.

8. Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviour.

8.1. How to Verify Concerns 

8.2. Useful things to Say & Do

8.3. Useful & Emergency Contacts

8.4. Recovering From Suicidal Thoughts

9. Affirmations & Music Therapy

10. Meditation for Health

11. CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

12. Work Sheets

13. Additional Support Providers

14. How to Pick A councillor or Therapist

15. Mood Enhancing Foods

16. Get in touch with us.


There’s an invisible issue getting bigger and more widespread predominantly throughout the western world that unlike the tooth fairy is very real and is affecting the lives of millions of people with no discretion to age, sex, societal status or amount of money in the bank. The phrase mental illness although referring to life rendering conditions has partly had its severity downplayed and is boarder line overlooked by society. The stigma and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental health care in due time thus prolonging the effects of suffering.

The misunderstandings attached to the entire subject of mental health are so widespread despite the existence of effective treatments; there’s this unquestioned belief that they’re untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, awkward, or incapable of making decisions as a small example. This stigma can lead to abuse, exploitation, rejection and isolation and exclude people from health care or support, to put that statement into perspective; doctors are more likely to treat depression in women than in men, even when males present identical symptoms.

The reality is that mental health is on every level something that should not be ignored and no laughing matter, although you, yourself may never suffer directly, statistically you are likely to encounter a family member or someone that you hold dear to you, to put this in context for you:

According to WHO (World Health Organisation) it’s estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem, with mixed anxiety & depression as the most common disorder in Britain specifically with 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis. That’s roughly 5,714,031 people. In our opinion these numbers are considerably underestimated because as hard as the health care providers of the world try, mental health issues are as a whole misunderstood, undertreated, under-diagnosed and under-reported.


The rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years among teenagers which backs up the result of a separate WHO study concluding that 50-60% of adults with a diagnosed mental disorder had received a mental health diagnosis of some kind before the age of 15.

The spine-chilling statistic is that 800, 000 people die due to suicide every year making suicide the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. There are indications that suggest for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

The diversity in the sufferers of mental health conditions worldwide offer substantial proof it holds no bias and anyone can become a victim if the personal circumstances in one’s reality become ideal for the onset. At this point we want to point out that there are millions if not billions of complex personal variables and conditions which can trigger a mental health illness and no two cases are ever the same.

Although worldwide research suggests those of a lower income bracket, or those that come from a poorly educated or single parented background are more susceptible to mental illness, the new age celebrity industry for decades has seen many movie stars, musicians, performers alike who had wealth, suffer from bouts of mental illness, the most notable would be: Catherine Zeta Jones, Stephen Fry, Britney Spears, Emma Thompson, Michael Jackson, Kurt Kobain and Amy Whinehouse to name a few just proving that money and wealth does not protect you from personal battles. Even some of the worlds most respected “Gurus” if you like have a history dotted with mental health issues ones in which they profess their new found strength and courage to share and empower others, those most notable would be Oprah Winfrey and one of the world’s finest spiritual teachers Eckhart Tolle.

Taking Care of You.

There is no questionable doubt; one of the most difficult things to deal with in life is witnessing someone that you care for battling the hardships of mental health issues. As you may already know mental health conditions at their peak can turn people into a shadow of their former self, as an observer of what they’re going through it can be distressing seeing this once radiant & positively focused person questioning their sanity, normality and ability to function in everyday scenarios. Furthermore seeing your loved one in such a state of mind to where they’re deflecting positivity and denying their own blessings and in the more extreme cases talking about harming themselves or even taking their lives can be soul destroying.

“Mental illness leaves a huge legacy, not just for the person suffering it but for those around them.” - Lysette Anthony

As human beings we’re naturally very empathetic, so it should be at no point a surprise that many psychological and social tests & experiments conclude that those who tend for and try to assist the recovery of friend’s family and loved ones experiencing mental health problems, often tend to find it extremely difficult maintaining a healthy functioning mind-frame for understandable reasons. This is not to say that if your friends, family or loved ones become unwell that you develop the exact same symptoms and they’re certainly not contagious.

Being the observer and carer, despite your concerns, worries and fears and how they make you feel it’s vital that you keep at the forefront of your mind your own health and wellbeing and taking positive steps to maintain it. When you’re a carer you spend a lot of your time focusing on someone else. It can feel unnatural or even selfish to think about your own personal needs whist someone you love and care for feels so low. But to be able to provide the best support you possibly can you need to be well rested and feeling good in yourself whilst allowing your own life to carry on, you’re no good to anyone not even yourself if you run yourself into the ground.

Here’s a list of recommended steps to take as an observer carer to maintain your own health and wellbeing.

It’s a wise thing to remind yourself consistently that the problem you’re facing is typically not your fault or something that you have caused and that mental health issues are triggered by an uncountable number of variables. You must quickly come to that realisation in your situation before you start to over analysis your previous actions and create your own depressive state of mind.

Learn & Become Aware It is always good to understand as much as you possibly can about what your friend, family member or loved one is going through by learning the fundamentals of depression & anxiety and by combining the information you learn about the illness with the knowledge you have with your loved one can aid in effectively supporting their recovery.

Eat Healthily  Food is fuel, and you’re sure going to need it so make sure that you are consuming regular meals, with plenty of variation, fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoiding fast and processed foods would highly be advised as the idea is to nourish your body with clean energy.

Get Enough Sleep  A lack of rest can make it more difficult for you to handle the day-to-day challenges you may encounter which can and will be picked up and make the atmosphere almost stressful for the sufferer making things worse.

Do Regular Exercise – Even if it’s just a short walk, a few laps of at local swimming baths or a 5-mile jog it can help you clear your head and give you some personal thinking time. If possible, try to make it something that you enjoy doing or something new but the priority is to make sure that you keep your body in a good shape.

Talk To Someone You have a right to be heard too. What are friends and family for if not to help you through your tough times? Keeping in mind that the person you are caring for is not going to want their business publicised all over the place it would be a good idea to speak with those you truly trust. So for some examples if you’re worried about a family member speak and share your concerns with other family members, if it’s a friend speak with your friends that you have in common and if it’s a loved one speak with their family and friends in common. By doing this, you can not only receive your own comforting and reassurance but also help monitor improvements and declines.

If you feel like that would be betraying someone’s trust in you that is completely understandable, but you must see the importance of talking to someone even if in confidence, sometimes the simplicity of releasing your feelings through words alleviates the amalgamated stresses and pressures that sometimes you may not even be aware are there.

Learn a Relaxation Tech – Granted this is much easier said than done at the best of times, so the magnitude of the task at a time when your mind is on overdrive is somewhat tougher. But now is just as important as ever to slow down, relax and take your mind off things. There are so many different ways to relax and will be down to you to decide what the best remedy for you is. Here’s a short list of ideas.

· Practice MeditationThere are now millions of guided meditations available online which you can easily find on Youtube.

· Practice Yoga – Search online for local classes, if that is not an option you can search the internet and learn in the comfort of your home.

· Visit the Sauna or Steam Room Some people find this extremely cleansing and therapeutic, clearing out the bodies toxins naturally while left with the time to mull thoughts over in your mind.

We have made some downloadable walkthroughs available towards the end of the publication to help.


What Is Depression?

It’s firstly important as an observer of what’s going on to establish with some element of clarity what your friend, family member or loved one is going through which for obvious and delicate reasons will never be as easy as simply asking “ Are you depressed”. That’s inarguably insensitive and can instantaneously make someone feel under the microscope. The first part of you being able to provide any assistance at all is understanding without patronising whether they’re having a string of bad days and in a bad mood or there are actual diagnosable symptoms present.

Every single person on under the sun has bad days, they help us appreciate the good days, and that is just an inescapable universal fact that is formally known as duality. (Duality states everything must have a polar opposite or a dual point for example left/right, up/down, hot/cold or good/bad). Life’s ups and downs affect us all differently it’s not uncommon for someone to have a string of bad days and then all of a sudden just pop out of it and everything returns to normal.



Always keep awareness and sensitivity on hand as a bad mood shares many of the same characteristics as depression, but moves like a train on a looped track, before you know it, the bad moods over and you can jump off back to your destination and carry on as normal. However with depression, you’re on a circular trip that never seems to end.

So to be informed is to be prepared, according to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is diagnosed when a person experiences five or more specific symptoms for more than two weeks, those symptoms include:

- Feelings of sadness and loss of pleasure in activities you once enjoyed

- Changes in appetite that cause weight loss or gain

- Sleeping too little or too much, feeling tired all the time

- Having difficulty concentrating and making decisions

- Feeling angry and irritable.

- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, low self-esteem or self-worth

- In some cases frequent thoughts of self-harming, death or suicide.

Ultimately the list could be much bigger as the scope of the mind's effect on the physical body has been proven to be linked to ailments and other such illness and conditions which are why people with depression may also have unexplained physical pain like headaches or backaches, digestive problems and so on.


How to Spot Depression.

If you’re reading this trying to find confirmation that your friend, family member or loved one is truly going through mental health issues then the following will help you put things into perspective and almost justify some behaviour you may be witnessing.

Although the symptoms of depression are not by scenario but by definition the same universally, the experiences one person endures compared to another can be completely different just as with the way they’re dealt with. Various studies from organisations all across the world recognise behavioural patterns in different age and gender groups that can help you as the observer best get a handle of how to approach your attempts to be there for your friend family or loved one.

"If mental illness could be seen on a sufferer maybe society wouldn't say "just get over it."

The signs of depression come in all shapes and sizes and can be portrayed by a person in an innumerable amount of ways, but each stem from a particular column of thought processes is typically depicting an image of their selves with very little to no self-worth. People in a depressive state of mind are disconnected with their self-love and with that comes the feeling of not being able to be loved or deserving of other people's love or help that usually results in the person pushing those that are closest to them away.

Many people who have suffered with depression describe their low times as living under a black cloud making them feel utterly powerless to change or improve how they feel or their situation and with that the interest to former hobbies and social engagements are lost, sexual interaction included as the ability to feel joy and pleasure are rendered non-existent. With the dark cloud comes the chronic fatigue no matter how rested the person is.

Depression force focuses the mind on diverting away from the productive day to day routine and plays havoc with the brain to body communication meaning that those with depression will typically experience sporadic sleeping patterns with it not being uncommon for insomnia and hypersomnia (oversleeping) to occur. With that being said if you are around your loved one, friend or family member enough you will notice their appetite will have changed and typically in clinical depression sufferers experience weight loss.

Other signs include the inability to focus indecision and the lack of trust on one's decisions, poor memory and reckless behaviour otherwise known as escapism such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, or dangerous driving.



What is Anxiety?

On the flip side of depression is Anxiety which is just as difficult as an observer to gauge and understand how serious what your friend, family member or loved one is going through as it’s so tightly resembled by the natural emotion of nervousness. Nervousness is a healthy response to an experience uncomforting or new and unusual which typically warrants or involves the opinions and judgement of others, such as a new job or loss of employment, a first date with a new person, which naturally can be accompanied by a healthy sense of worry but doesn't prevent you from preparing for the situation and performing the necessary routine.

Anxiety is again diverse in its spectrum of symptoms that can vary person to person but it’s typically defined as extreme nervousness outside the presence of real and immediate danger, irrational fears or a dread of something perceived as being a far bigger threat than there is in reality. Anxiety disorders can manifest in a variety of ways, including social phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

People can naturally be nervous before say a performance in front of people or cameras, but if that person has those same feelings on a normal day to day basis when trying to make what would seem simple decisions and then that person may be facing anxiety if those feelings cause disruption and disharmony to their daily life.

With Anxiety being a condition of the mind it again bears an impact on the physical body and much more evidently than depression. During an anxiety attack or more commonly known as a panic attack, large amounts of adrenaline are released into the blood flow and dispersed throughout the body. Blood pressure increases, the heart rate speeds up and the heartbeat becomes irregular. Blood from the inner organs rush to the bodies extremities, affecting the function of the digestive system, causing nausea. People experiencing a panic attack may also feel shaky, sweaty, fatigued and breathless.

Possibly the most damaging effect of the panic attack is the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which is released during times of anxiety, is a corrosive and has a damaging effect on internal organs. Anxiety disorders are not only detrimental to your mental health; they can seriously impact your physical health.


How to Spot Anxiety?

Anxieties close resemblance to nervousness and effect on the physical body makes spotting the symptoms slightly easier yet not as easy to deal as it can be quite distressing seeing someone become overwhelmed with irrationalities. One of the most common symptoms of all the anxiety disorders is the continual stream of thoughts creating self-doubt and excessive worrying which in severe cases can immobilise any ability to make decisions completely, leaving the suffer feeling powerless to change their situation or how they feel. This feeling of powerlessness has a direct effect on the self-esteem fuelling social anxieties.

Social phobias stretch further than not being able to deliver speeches or being the focal point of attention, in fact, sufferers can often struggle to engage in general conversations with people they have spent their entire lives with and describe their experiences as feeling like an immense pressure subdues them leaving them struggling for breath, nauseous, unable to make eye contact and often sweaty. Social phobias not by the medical diagnosis but from opinion and experience open the sufferer to the extreme negativities of their self-awareness, painting every thought in a bad light.

Apart from the most obvious physical effects of anxiety disorders that are the panic attacks, comes the general agitation (Psychomotor agitation) seen in the body language. Sufferers when going through an episode can display facial expressions of fear and confusion, their body language will show signs of unease typically portrayed by the inability to stay still, it’s not uncommon for them to be fidgeting with their hands or constantly reaching for their hair, face or knees.

Because of the self-created pressures, the anxious mind formulates a suffer can in the more serious cases develop compulsive behaviours such as hand washing, household cleaning or straightening items commonly phrased ‘rituals’. Obsessive behaviours are typically coupled with obsessive thoughts justifying the repetition of the ritual to be somewhat a solution to their problem. Obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviour become a full-blown disorder when the need to complete the rituals takes over a person’s day to day life and will be as the observer quite easy to spot.



What Triggers Mental Health Problems?

Most illnesses have a specific medical cause that can be easily traced, tracked and monitored making treatment and diagnosis straight forward. So if you have Type-1 diabetes, you take insulin. If you have kidney problems, you have surgery. Mental health issues, however, are a more complicated board game.

Mental Health contrary to popular belief is not just the simple result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it’s not simply cured with medication alone. Experts peg a wide range of mental conditions to be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors, in simplified terms, your lifestyle choices, relationships and quality of coping mechanisms. However, having said that there are certain risk factors that make people more vulnerable and susceptible than others.

Causes and possible risk factors vary accordingly over the spectrum of different mental health conditions and the following is just a collection of the most common triggers.


Mental health triggers can include: loneliness, lack of social support; recent or past stressful life experiences; family history of depression; marital or relationship problems; financial strain; early childhood trauma or abuse; alcohol or drug abuse; unemployment or underemployment to name a few.

Understanding the underlying cause of the illness may help you assist overcoming the problem. For example, if your friend, family member or loved one is depressed because of unfulfillment in a dead end job, the best treatment might be helping them finding a more satisfying career, in this instance, the depression could be remedied by changing the situation.


What You Can and Cannot Do.

By now you will have been able to understand & determine if the person you’re concerned for is having a few days down in the dumps or truly experiencing symptoms of a mental health illness. If it is the unfortunate case that your loved one is unwell then despite whatever objections you face there are things you can do to help and it’s important to understand exactly what you can and cannot do.

The first thing you must get into your mind is that how you can help them the most is by listening and being there physically to help with the day to day life and routine which can become unmanageable for the suffer due to the symptom of fatigue setting in. You must be very clear that without professional experience your ability to help someone on a psychological level will be restricted to creating a linear and logical consistency or structure to provide a sense of security. We recommend all cases of mental health should be consulted with medical professionals.

Also, bear in mind it’s not unusual for your loved one to feel alienated regardless of how open and understanding you are this again is another manifestation of symptoms of irrational abnormality mental health issues can cause so be prepared at times to offer your support from a distance at times.

Remind them they’re loved – With the low self-esteem and numbness that comes with depression and anxiety it can be hard for one to comprehend being loved by another or even feeling deserving of love and assistance. It‘s always good to regularly remind your friend, family and loved one exactly how and why you feel the way you about them and why they deserve your help recovering. It would always be best, if possible, to tell the person face to face but in some cases where it’s too overwhelming for the sufferer to be around anyone it would be well advised to write it down or record a video.

Have an open ear – Be patient, understanding and willing to sit with your friend, family or loved one simply listening to anything and everything that they feel like talking about, remember engaging in conversations for some sufferers is excruciatingly difficult so be mindful of correcting them or over-talking them. While they’re confiding their worries, stresses and anguishes in you despite however much you understand, in their eyes you never will, do not let that frustrate you. The important thing is to listen, your response is less important than taking on board what they have shared with you which may identify what the cause of their current feelings are and possible solutions to help change them.

Cleaning & Cooking – The loss of appetite, low levels of energy, self-esteem and motivation combined make taking on the seemingly small tasks like personal hygiene, cooking and cleaning seem pointless or overwhelming. At this point your higher levels of sensitivity must be used, calling the person lazy or insulting them will not be your best course of action it can make them feel incapable and further highlight any insecurities. Instead, be reassuring and comforting but direct justifying the importance of keeping clean and even offer to run them a bath.

Food is an undervalued part of recovery as anyone with mental health issues struggles to maintain their energy at the best of times. Offering to do the grocery shopping or going with them to the supermarket is a good idea. Further to that dependent on the relationship you hold with this person, you could offer to make them meals. Alongside cooking comes cleaning, that is just as unbearable to the mind suffering depression and anxiety, offering to help with the housework would be a small gesture highly appreciated even if the appreciation isn’t shown very well

Help them understand  With mental health being such a misunderstood and under-discussed topic it’s not uncommon for the suffers of mental health to be misinformed and unaware of the symptoms and the effects that it can have so it can be a good idea to help your friends, family or loved one find information educating them about what they’re going through, how they can deal with it and how to prevent it from reoccurring. Also, to that you can help them find suitable online support groups or forums to establish an additional line of support.

As we advise all cases of mental health mild or severe should be consulted with a health care professional and no risks should be taken or corners cut on the road to recovery as the likelihood of a relapse are multiplied by allowing these feelings to go suppressed. One of the scariest things one with an issue can face is seeking treatment and help from medical professionals, offering to arrange or attend an appointment with their GP can help remove the sting and provide comfort.

Comfort Without Enabling Finally what you cannot do is allow yourself to become an enabler of their suffering. What we mean by this very simply is that it is easy for this person to become dependent on you and your support which can become detrimental to their recovery. If they’re becoming very clingy, manipulative or are relying on you completely, don’t be scared or hesitate to calmly and clearly set a few boundaries. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be supportive in other ways or that you’re giving up on them and to avoid misunderstanding you must clarify and justify that they must regain their self-reliance.


Things You Should and Should Never Say

What do you say to someone who’s depressed? All too often, it can feel like the wrong thing. Keep in mind that social engagement can become a stumbling block for some people and underneath their visible grief they may be urging to talk and share their issue. Below we have put together a small list of helpful do’s and don'ts when talking to people troubled with mental health problems.

Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness - Louise Hart

Do

Reaffirm against their protests and objections at any available point that they’re on every level normal and that in no way crazy, depression and anxiety is very real. Remember even the smallest most normal day to day tasks can seem like enormous efforts so praising even the smallest achievements is helpful in boosting self-esteem and confidence.

Don’t

Then follow on with something as insensitive as ‘snap out of it’, ‘pull yourself together’ or “Calm down”. It’s quite likely that they are unable to do so, and would very much knock their self-confidence badly, or make them feel you don’t understand their problems at all possibly resulting in you being pushed out.


Do

Continually let them know that you’re there for them almost at their disposal and available to talk or help them with anything they may be finding difficult without exposing yourself and running yourself into the ground. Make it clear that you will always try your best to understand and where you can’t you offer your compassion and support.

Don’t

Downplay the situation and say that there is always someone in a worse situation than them, that may be true but in no way helpful in sparking a sudden reversal and complete recovery, it often stirs up the feeling of guilt as the person may also recognise that the problem is not as small as their feelings are making the feel. It’s no way helpful comparing another person’s mental health experiences as each case is completely unique and serves very little benefit.

Do

Remind them that despite how they feel, they will get through this and that there is hope, be confident when you say this “when this is all done you will still be here, and you will be much stronger for it”. Remind them visually if possible of some of the things that could inspire a motivated response, for example, some of their academic, professional or leisurely achievements. Most people find the mornings extremely difficult to deal with so recommending politely that they get up out of bed as soon as they wake up and start a routine could help keep negative thoughts at bay.


Don’t

At any point say something like “try not to be depressed” or “don’t worry about it it’s just in your head” it’s a catalyst to launch feelings of inadequacy as the feelings are really at this point for them uncontrollable. Another confidence withdrawal-inducing line to say is “It’s all your fault” or “You’re making it worse for yourself” and even if inside you feel frustrated about the lack of improvement you must not resort to saying that type of comment.

Do

Let your feelings of love AND concerns clear, it’s important to let them know how much they matter and how important they’re to you and don’t be afraid to be vivid in your explanation If you truly mean it tell them you love them. Be clear that you will be with them step by step, and you will not be driven away. Saying something like, “I’m sorry that you’re in so much pain. I am not going to leave you. I am going to take care of myself, so you don’t need to worry that your pain might hurt me.”

Don’t

Think that the rough approach by being sharp in your tone and criticising with your words will inspire much positivity; it’s also not helpful to say things that highlight how destructive or negatively self-engrossed someone is behaving, again this will simply heighten one's senses and magnify the symptoms along the self-hate theme. Regardless of the relationship you have with this person you care enough about them enough to search for ways in which you can help, meaning at no point must you point out or make evident that their illness is driving a wedge between you. (If this has become the case, and the relationship that you have has been compromised consider recommending some space and decide when they’re in a better bill of health.)Think that the rough approach by being sharp in your tone and criticising with your words will inspire much positivity; it’s also not helpful to say things which highlight how destructive or negatively self-engrossed someone is being, again this will simply heighten ones senses and magnify the symptoms along the self-hate theme. Regardless of the relationship you have with this person you care enough about them enough to search for ways in which you can help, meaning at no point must you point out or make evident that their illness is driving a wedge between you. (If this has become the case, and the relationship that you have has been compromised consider recommending some space and decide when they’re in a better bill of health.)

Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It's the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with. - Adam Ant


Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviour.



“Are you thinking about suicide?”

Or

“Are you having thoughts of killing yourself?”

These questions might seem blunt and direct but it is better to address the person’s feelings directly than to beat around the bush. This is an entirely normal and understandable symptom of mental health conditions. Try to see the world as the person sees it as difficult as it may and do this without judging, criticising or blaming them.

If your concerns are denied and you’re concerns are still present there are a few signs that you can watch for to gain confirmation or dispel your nerves:

  • Preoccupation with death
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
  • Acting in excessively dangerous or self-destructive ways
  • Getting their affairs in order and saying goodbye
  • Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
  • Sudden sense of calm after a depression

Again to be clear if these type of behavioural patterns are witnessed you must seek medical assistance.


"The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die."

– Juliette Lewis

Causes.

There is again an unimaginably large amount of variables surrounding the root cause of suicidal behaviours; there’s rarely a single thing or deciding factor that makes someone want to end their own life. Experts believe that a variety of complex issues can make someone feel this way but there are a few things that can make someone more likely to think about suicide. These may include:

A single or string of difficult life events – such as having a traumatic childhood, experiencing physical or emotional abuse or witnessing distressing situations and so on.

Something deeply upsetting or life-changing - such as a long-term relationship ending or family bereavement.

Living alone or having little social contact with other people – Loneliness supports the irrational feelings of not having any social significance.

Poor physical health or disability – Certain illnesses and disabilities that detrimentally affect the quality of life leave people feeling helpless and unable to picture a way to carry on in pain or discomfort.

• And as discussed having a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar or schizophrenia, etc.


Useful things to Say & Do.

Once your friend, family member or loved one has gathered the courage to confide their feelings in you it’s important if not blatantly obvious already that you take everything that is said seriously and your role as a carer intensifies more than ever. It would be well advised for you to seek your own support to keep in check with regulating good mental health.Once your friend, family member or loved one has gathered the courage to confide their feelings in you it’s important if not blatantly obvious already that you take everything that is said seriously and your role as a carer intensifies more than ever, it would be well advised for you to seek your own support to keep in check with regulating good mental health.

Do

Make them compassionately aware that you’re there for them and they are far from alone desire how their mind and feelings compel them to feel. If you sense an immediate danger, then do your best to hazard-proofing the environment for example removing visible sharp items, collecting up any prescription medication, closing windows if higher than ground floor and be observant. Removing any alcohol and drugs from the situation is well advised as alcohol can increase depression, hamper the problem-solving ability, and can encourage the impulsive behaviour.

Don’t

Fly off the handle and lose control of your own emotions, right now your role is to calm the situation down. Pointing the finger and placing unnecessary blame on them is simply adding to the non-stop whirlwind of irrationalities circulating their mind!

Do

Be the shoulder to cry on if needed, be direct with your questions and listen to the answers, don’t cut the off or attempt to finish their sentences. So, for example, asking them for their reasons for wanting to end their life, listen and respond attempting to counter and explore the reasons for living in more depth. Remind them they’re safe and encourage them to take the required steps to seek assistance professionally.

Don’t

Switch the subject when they bring up how they feel or discuss suicide, it only corroborates their feelings of low self-esteem. Responding to their admission with comments labelling their illness as silly or crazy is not going to help nor will being made to feel like a hypochondriac by telling them to snap out of it or cheer up.

Do

When engaged in the conversation keep in the forefront of your mind that they’re going to feel already exposed and out on a limb and may withdraw if faced with judgemental comments, insensitivity and the feelings of rejection or delusion. Now your focus should be finding out how long these thoughts have been present for, what way’s they have considered and if they have tried before.


Useful & Emergency Contacts.

At a time like this with the hint of unpredictability in the air it would be wise to compile a list of contacts and resources that may come in handy in times of crisis or simply just for additional support from a professional capacity. Be sure to include the immediate family members and don’t hesitate to reach out to them yourself for your form of relief.

Samaritans- “People talk to us any time they like, in their own way, and off the record - about whatever’s getting to them. You don't have to be suicidal.”

Any UK based reader will have heard of the Samaritans at some point, they’re a fantastic charitable organisation dedicated since 1953 to providing a confidential helpline service to meditate and advise anyone in times of crisis. Since the Samaritans formed they have received connections from an excess of 68 million people.

0845 790 9090 / 1850 60 90 90 Rep. of Ireland - www.samaritans.org

PAPYRUS- Are an organisation particularly focused on the younger generation who are touched by the devastating effects of suicidal thoughts.

They run a national helpline called HOPELineUK, including text and email services, staffed by a team of mental health professionals who provide practical help and advice to vulnerable young people and to those concerned about any young person who may be at risk of suicide.

0800 068 41 41 - www.papyrus-uk.org

CALM - Men may be more likely to avoid or ignore problems and many are reluctant to talk about their feelings or seek help when they need it.

CALM is a confidential support group short for the Campaign Against Living Miserably and is an excellent resource for young men who are feeling unhappy and those supporting them.

0800 58 58 58 www.thecalmzone.net

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - A non for profit confidential service created to assist people facing troubling times. NSPL go one step further and offer regionalised services such as therapies and crisis centres and in more serious cases we recommend you welcome the possibilities of visiting one.

1-800-273-8255 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

KBHC Hopeline Kristin Brooks Hope Centre is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 whose focus is suicide prevention, awareness and education. They provide help and hope through college campus and high school events, online suicide crisis chat, suicide crisis hotlines and other educational programs.

1-800-784-2433 www.hopeline.com

For any readers outside of the UK and United states looking for confidential support and unable to find reliable assistance have a look over the following websites which both provide directories to recommended hotlines and crisis centres across the globe.

IASP- The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) - Founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960, IASP now includes professionals and volunteers from more than fifty different countries. IASP is a Non-Governmental Organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization(WHO)concerned with suicide prevention dedicated to: preventing suicidal behaviour, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors..

Suicide.org- Our mission is to prevent suicides, support suicide survivors, and educate the public about suicide.” Suicide.org is a non-profit organization which was conceived and founded by Kevin Caruso in 2004. They currently assist more than 3,000,000 people throughout the world each year. “If you have been touched by suicide, we want you to know that we love you, we care about you, we support you, and we fight for you. And with open arms, we welcome you into the Suicide.org family.” Suicide.org conducts extensive work online and offline to further its mission of suicide prevention, awareness, and support.


Help Recovering from Suicidal Feelings.

Now when you get to this stage, once the overpowering thoughts of suicidal behaviours have deceased, although emotionally you may feel like “It’s over” you must keep in mind that your friend, family member or loved one still needs help on a professional level. Don’t forget that you, yourself, at this point will have been through a lot witnessing such uncharacteristic and frightening behaviour in someone you care for and can be traumatising, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for your wellbeing.

In regards to helping your friends, family and loved ones recovering from suicidal thoughts and feelings. It again may feel like you are almost walking on eggshells when speaking with your friend, family member or loved one as you are very cautious about saying something that may cause some type of relapse into the darker depths of their illness. It is important if you can to help by talking, identifying and exploring as many of the triggers as possible. By doing this, there becomes a conscious recognition of situations which may be more difficult to deal with than others for both parties.

To be clear, at this point there is no outright cure for suicidal thoughts and behaviours and the best-advised course of action second to seeking professional input would be to occupy the mind and keep it busy.

Your friend, family member or loved one will no doubt feel withdrawn from life and their day to day responsibilities and helping them re-establish their routine will go a long way in helping restore balance and their sense of normality. Be proactive in suggesting they partake in activities that they enjoy or have never tried. We all search for a sense of fulfilment and purpose so suggesting activities that result with a notable feeling of achievement would help boost self-esteem.

As much at this point as it is important to divert the mind away from the negative through processes, it just as important to avoid the suppression of these emotions which will only return later on down the line with more devastating ramifications. You would be very helpful to make sure that your friend, family member or loved one is clear that there are ways to cope when experiencing suicidal thoughts and that there are ways to cope with the stress such as: exercising, meditating, sensory strategies (stress balls, etc.), practicing simple breathing exercises, and challenging self-defeating thoughts.


Affirmations & Music Therapy.

Everyone has their own problems experiencing mental health issues, but their symptoms as we mentioned previously are almost the same across the world and a lot of people who suffer one form of mental health issue or another claim that the mornings and evenings are the most difficult to deal with. The power of affirmations is unseen but infinite; it derives from the universal ability to speak thoughts into reality and taking control of one's emotions in the now.

Affirmations alone are not considered a sole treatment but can be a vital part of a coping strategy, and can be used in different ways in various different situations. Affirmations despite being a cure do however have several important benefits for allowing one to improve their ability to cope with their feelings.

The goal of encouraging your friend, family or loved one to practice affirmations regularly is to help them come to their own realisation that they can control their thoughts.

Positive Distraction – Depression and anxiety is always worse when thoughts are allowed to run wild with no boundary or mechanism of control. Affirmations give the opportunity to repeat the types of uplifting phrases to oneself in a way that distracts the mind from negative mind chatter while also focusing on an uplifting idea.

Time Creates Believing - The brain adapts to things it doesn't understand. Through the repetition of a positive phrase to oneself that runs counter to what the mind is thinking it causes the brain to be confused and start to change in order to adapt to the belief that’s being reaffirmed.


Morning Mantra

I AM feeling healthy and strong today.
I AM loved, loving and lovable.
I HAVE the courage to make this a great day.
My body and mind is healing and improving every day.0
I make a POSTIVE difference for someone today.
EVERYTHING I need comes to me at the right time.
I AM grateful and content with my life.


Affirmation Statements to Aide Overcoming Depression.

I AM not my mistakes.

I AM in love with myself unconditionally and I AM forgiving for my own mistreatment.

I AM not my illness and I AM much more than what I feel right now.

I AM loved despite my sadness.

I AM valued and my contributions are appreciated even when they are small.

I AM in acceptance of my reality and my past no longer has power over me.

Where I AM right now is not where I will end up, I AM comfortable with my current position.


When Anxiety is Near.

I AM going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I AM just going to take slow deep breaths, relax everything will be all right.

Right now I have feelings I don’t like. They will be over with soon and I WILL be fine. For now, I AM going to focus on doing something else around me.

I HAVE stopped my negative thoughts before and I AM going to do it again now.

I AM becoming better and better at deflecting these automatic negative thoughts and that alone makes me happy.

I AM in control over these thoughts and feelings. I AM going to turn away from my old feelings and move in a new, better direction.


Statements to Use When Preparing For a Stressful Situation.

I HAVE done this before so I KNOW I can do it again.

This may seem hard now, but it will become easier and easier as I get on with it.


Statements to Use When You Feel Overwhelmed.

I can be anxious and still focus on the task at hand. As I focus on the task, my anxiety will go down.

All these things that are happening to me seem overwhelming. But I've caught myself this time and I refuse to focus on these things.

Recommend that your friend, family member or loved one save’s them on their smartphone or writes them down on a notepad and keep them on hand as much as possible. Encourage them add some of their own affirmations and include anything that they’re normally happy about even go as far as to help them create some of their own as you may find it easier than them to point out notable positive characteristics of themselves to point out.


Music Therapy

Music Therapy has been present and used as a viable healing method for all types of ailments and disorders of the mind and body since the times of the Khemtians. Looking back over the past century or so of medical treatment history, music therapy would seem forgotten or at best underused by the healthcare industry and abandoned for more profitable treatments involving their medication or costly therapy sessions. Alternative and holistic therapists across the world in recent times have been able come together and conclude that although not a sole treatment can again be vital on the path to recovery from mental health problems.

As a non-qualified professional the way in which you could prescribe your own type of music therapy for your friend, family or loved one would be to create playlist’s including upbeat songs, songs you know they typically can’t resist singing and dancing to and are connected to joyful pastimes. Many of you may know that as great as the human memory is at times we lack the ability to remember simple things that never change like names or people's birthdays, but we can easily remember the lyrics to songs we heard 15 years ago.

Simply put the brain easily attaches thoughts and emotions to pieces of music which resonates with an individual’s preferences and collecting those songs together can help boost spirit’s and help with steps being taken forward.

For your information the actual professional definition of music therapy is when the therapist works with a person in a ‘psychodynamic’ way to address problems rooted in the clients past; with the medium for communication being predominantly improvised music. Music therapy can help people with mental issues by:

• Encouraging the expression of them creatively.

• Helping one feel more motivated.

• Rekindling social and communication skills.

• Gaining a greater awareness of self and of self in relationships with others.

• Build and strengthen self-esteem and self-worth.

• Cultivating more confidence in decision making and choices within their daily lives.


Meditation for Mental Health.

A lot of peoples primary concern with mediation is that it essentially requires the practitioner just to sit and do nothing…and it becomes near impossible with that perspective to comprehend how much of a positive effect meditation can have. Meditation and its relative hybrid practices are being proven scientifically to be connected to the psychological wellbeing of the practitioner enabling the reduction of stress, depression & anxiety, and blood pressure, it’s now even linked to the recovery of substance abuse through the reconfiguration of neurological pathways.

The poor or complete inability to control the stream of thoughts is heavily linked to mental health issue’s which make it no surprise when the average person has up to 50,000 thoughts per day, now imagine all 50,000 of those thoughts came from a negative fear based perspective, it becomes a much easier to comprehend what your friend, family member or loved one is going through.

The main benefit of meditation that we want to bring your attention to is awareness or mindfulness. With awareness comes a better perspective of the self and provides a stronger platform for one to heal emotional disharmony in the mind, body and spirit. Mindfulness is an integrative, mind and body based approach that assists the practitioner to manage their thoughts and feelings. It is becoming widely used in a range of contexts. NICE (National Institue for Heal and Care Excellence) recommends it as a preventative practice for people with experience of recurrent depression. Some 30 minutes of meditation daily may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.


To conduct their review, the investigators focused on 47 clinical trials performed through June 2013 among 3,515 participants that involved meditation and various mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, substance use, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic pain. They found moderate evidence of improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression and pain after participants underwent what was typically an eight-week training program in mindfulness meditation. - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of a study published online Jan. 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Mindfulness meditation makes perfect sense for treating anxiety. “People with anxiety have a problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power. They can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry that has no benefit.” - Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Centre for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School,

“If you have unproductive worries,” says Dr. Hoge, you can train yourself to experience those thoughts completely differently. “You might think ‘I’m late, I might lose my job if I don’t get there on time, and it will be a disaster!’ Mindfulness teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that—a thought, and not a part of my core self,'” says Dr. Hoge

Some other studies by the likes of Sara Lazar, Yale and Harvard Universities would be worthwhile research available freely on the internet.

Possibly the most recognisable name on the recent published medical study list is the UK’s NHS, who recently announced that they recognise the heal benefits surrounding mindfulness activities. Also, further to that having recognised the cost affectivity, the Mental Health Foundation has been proactive in increasing their list of NHS-funded courses, It’s also estimated that as many as 30% of GPs now refer diagnosed mental health sufferers to mindfulness training.

The difficult task that you may now face is introducing the idea of mediation to your friend, family or loved and it can be quite difficult without them creating some type of fence despite your positive intentions if you are not tactful in your approach. Remain positive. There’re a few different ways to go about introducing meditation and ultimately it depends completely on their personality and willingness to try new things to get better.

The best possible way you can introduce such a new concept to someone is directly, while you’re there with them face to face so you’d be best advised to learn as much helpful information as you possibly can about meditation. Be well rehearsed and be confident in sharing what you have learnt, remembering that this person's willingness to try what you’re suggesting depends on you really believing it can help them. Be clear that you in no way expect meditation to be the cure but it’s simply an additional tool to enable the processing and understanding of how and why they feel how they do and clearing space in the mind to solve the issues they face.

If you’re more confident that the person may you are trying to introduce mediation to would be more responsive or less defensive to receive the information in writing whether it be pen and pad or sent via an email, make sure you include all the information they would need like: what is meditation and its purpose, the benefits, guides, meditation music & tones and so on.

As previously mentioned various health care providers recommend and refer people on to mindfulness courses so again dependant on the type of relationship you have for the person you’re caring for, if you visit the doctor’s appointments with them, recommend or mention it in the doctor’s presence who may be able to relay the information in a way which connects to your loved one from a professional capacity which may inspire more motivation to participate.

Combined in with any approach you feel may best ignite a positive response to give meditation a serious attempt is your own willingness to get involved and be right alongside them participating so before suggesting is cautious if you are not truly committed.


Recommended Meditation Instructions & Links

Beginner’s breathing meditation from the YUSA Guide to Balance: Mind Body Spirit

This meditation will deliver an increase of oxygen, alkalization and energy into the body’s cellular structure (heart, lungs and digestive systems). Strengthening these systems support the health of the other parts of the body and, therefore, assist with healing numerous other aspects of your being including mental and physical. By simply focusing your attention at the level of the body diverts energy towards it! You can use this meditation to enjoy a sense of well-being and enliven your physical, mental and emotional structure.

  • Sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Take a few moments to ‘simply be’. Notice whatever is being experienced in the moment — sounds, physical sensations, thoughts, feelings — without trying to do anything about it. Continue like this for a while, allowing yourself to settle.

  • Now bring your attention to your breathing. Simply notice the breath as it moves in and out as the body inhales and exhales. Notice how the breath moves in and out automatically, effortlessly. Don’t try to manipulate it in any way. Notice all the details of the experience of breathing — the feeling of the air moving in and out of the nose and the way the body moves as you breathe.

  • Important- Breathe in deeply from the belly, then ribs, then collarbone area. Diaphragmatic breathing is the giver of life. Learn to utilise the full volume of the lungs.

  • The mind will wander away from the breath — that’s fine, it doesn’t matter. This is a part of the meditation! When you notice that you are no longer observing the breath, easily bring your attention back to it. Make each inhalation last for four seconds, holding for a further four seconds and then exhaling for another four out of your nose. Let all of your experiences — thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations — come and go in the background of your awareness of your breathing. Notice how all of these experiences come automatically and effortlessly, just like the rhythm of the breath.

  • After a few minutes of four-second inhalation, holding and exhalation, start to go deeper. Now inhale through the nose for seven seconds, hold the breath for a further seven seconds and finally exhale for seven seconds — this time, out through the mouth. After a few more minutes, return to the comfortable, relaxed breathing that suits you.

  • After about ten to fifteen minutes of focused breathing, the incessant stream of thoughts should have eased somewhat. If you are meditating without music, bring your attention beyond any sounds you may hear, and focus on the deep silence and the empty, spacious void of darkness. Within the darkness, visualise a pure white light. Go further into the light, bathe in it, feel the stream of positivity and warmth firing in your chest/heart area. This is your soul light. Visit this space as much as you can for fulfilling healing.

  • In time, you can become aware of the tendencies of your mind. You will see how it resists certain experiences and tries to hold onto others. The natural settling of the mind allows you to notice these underlying tendencies and creates the possibility of letting them go. If you experience a resistance to what is occurring, an attempt to change what is happening or the tendency to hold onto experiences of the past, work toward letting them go. You can do this by breathing into the past, experiencing and thanking the universe for the growth you achieved. It is now time for it to leave.


Here’s a small collection of guided meditation links found on the internet which you could suggest and recommend but you will find it always comes down to personal preference. It would be good to sit maybe down with your friend, family member or loved one and find a suitable guided meditation that has the most relaxing sounds and peaceful voices.

River Bed Visual - This Video was created by Kelita who is a certified energy healer/reiki master and meditation instructor who helps people release negative beliefs, fears and emotions so they can live the life of their dreams. This guided meditation was created to help with healing of those who suffer with such mental disorders as Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Paranoia, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, & Schizophrenia. The audio in this meditation contains binural beats, so please use Headphones!

The Inner Smile This Guided meditation with binaural beats works similar to hypnotherapy and helps you focus on yourself, breathing, and helps deviate the mind from your agitating thoughts.

Chropa Guided Meditations - Meditation can remove stress and replace it with a dose of inner peace. It’s one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress, and promote the peace of the present moment. But it can be tough to meditate without a teacher or guide. Enter guided meditations. Meditating on your own requires some effort; while guided meditations literally walk you through a meditation and help you find a calm and peaceful state—one step at a time.


YUSA Recommended Resources, Worksheets and Additional Information.

Second to our primary recommendation which is to become informed and seek medical advice, there are thousands of suggested alternative, holistic and side effect free treatments, medications and activities which can aid the recovery of mental health conditions and help people control & overcome them for good.


CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapies.

Cognitive and behavioural therapies are both forms of psychotherapy, unlike the body that can be operated on in surgery, the mind that is the home of mental health conditions, of course, cannot be seen or felt and thus cannot be operated on. CBT is based on scientific principles that help people change the way they think, feel and behave.

The overall long-term benefits of CBT in treating depression and anxiety have been concluded based on decades of research, the choice and type of therapy used by a therapist can vary depending on the problem being treated. As an example, behavioural therapy may be the main emphasis in phobia treatment or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) because avoidance behaviour or compulsive actions are the main problems. For depression the emphasis may be on cognitive therapy.


Subtype’s of CBT.

REBT –Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy: The therapy process involved is based on the belief that everyone individually has sets of very rigid and perhaps illogical, beliefs that can make us mentally unbalanced. It teaches the patient to identify the beliefs that may be causing harm and to replace them with more logical and flexible ones.

CAT - Cognitive Analytic Therapy: Created by Dr. Anthony Ryle in 1970 a form of cognitive therapy that combines some of the ideas of cognitive therapy with the more analytical approach of psychodynamics. The client and the therapist work together to identify what occurred in the past, in order to understand better how to move forward in the present.

Cognitive therapy generally in recent years has gained more recognition and status as a viable method of treating and coping with mental health disorder, its success is a part result of the self-empowering style of questioning called guided discovery. This helps patients to reflect on their ways of reasoning and thinking and helps them to consider the possibilities of thinking differently and more constructively.

Because of the very hands problem-solving style of CBT treatments, it can be delivered to in individuals, couples, families or groups and can be used alone or alongside medication. The stand out benefit for the patient is learning specific skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Even GP’s who typically favour prescribing medicine are very quick to refer diagnosed sufferers on to organisations and centres that provide various courses. To help you find out more information:



British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

itsgoodtotalk.org.uk

To find a Counselling therapist.




British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

babcp.com

To find a behavioural therapist



Worksheets

Research in positive psychology indicates that those who practice gratitude, appreciation and self-love have lower levels of mental disharmony and stress so we have created some worksheets that you may find helpful.

Strengths & Qualities - It can be challenging for with poor self-esteem to come up with even a few things that they like about themselves. This positive psychology worksheet will help begin to re-establish a more positive conceptualization of oneself. DOWNLOAD HERE.

Gratitude Journal - Spend a few minutes each evening reflecting and recording up to five things that were good about the day. Including big things like receiving a promotion or acing a test right down to the little things that are equally as important too. DOWNLOAD HERE.

Self-Esteem Journal - This worksheet requires you to record three daily questions and answers related to their successes, good qualities, and positive experiences designed for those having difficulty generating ideas for positive experiences to journal about.. DOWNLOAD HERE. 

Self-Esteem Statements This worksheet will help you reconnect your friend, family member or loved one with their feelings of self-love that could trigger the motivation needed to recover DOWNLOAD HERE.

Anxiety DisplacementThis worksheet helps recognise thoughts and experiences that elicit an unwanted response and then to recording another rational response to counter that situation. DOWNLOAD HERE.

Weekly Schedule – Many people battling depression find it challenging to complete the simplest of tasks due to a lack of motivation and fatigue. Behavioural activation requires clients to identify positive activities to replace their old negative behaviours, and then to create a schedule and plan to complete them. DOWNLOAD HERE.


Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness Walkthrough’s - In previous sections we have made reference to the positive benefits of mindfulness exercises to help both yourself and your friend, family member or loved one. Below we have put together a small set of exercises designed to reduce the feelings of stress & agitation and to boost the mood and motivation.DOWNLOAD HERE.


Carers UK - Information and advice on all aspects of caring, Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. Carers UK is here to listen, to give you expert information and advice that’s tailored to your situation, to champion your rights and support you in finding new ways to manage at home, at work, or wherever you are.

0808 808 7777 - carersuk.org

“We’re here to make life better for carers.”


Help Choosing a Therapist  

Choosing a therapist or councillor is not as simple as picking a name from a list and can be a very daunting experience for anyone. The following information sheets may be useful when considering therapy and can help put minds at ease giving them a true understanding of what to expect:

  • Key facts 1- What do counsellors and psychotherapists do?
  • Key facts 2How do I choose a Therapist?
  • Key facts 3What happens in your first session with your therapist?


Mood Enhancing Superfood Smoothie.

The way you choose to fuel your body is as important as the way you decide to process thoughts in your mind, YUSA have extensive knowledge surrounding the benefits of super food consumption and created an intense recipe to nourish the body and boost the mood. DOWNLOAD HERE.


Contacting Us

Thank you for your time reading this, and we hope that the material can you help you and those around you who are currently going through some tough times find a solution and find a way out of the darkness. We take this opportunity to also reiterate that anyone who is unsure about ether their own or a close ones mental health that they should not hesitate to contact and seek professional guidance.

In addition to that we like to extend to you our contact details which you can feel free to message us with any questions, queries or suggestions that you may have and we would be happy to offer our assistance as best possible.

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