One of the realities of dealing with a mental health condition is that it can be a silent problem, much harder to see on the surface. Sometimes we tend to invalidate or act insensitive toward the feelings of people battling a mental illness, whereas what we need to do is listen and show support.
In light of Mental Health Awareness Day (October 10) and their recent Maalaala Mo Kaya episode that sheds light on schizophrenia, Charlie Dizon and director Raz de la Torre shared their insights on what we can do to support a person dealing with a mental health condition.
It all starts with listening properly and appropriately, meaning no unnecessary opinions after, but listening to make the other person feel your presence. Direk Raz explained, “Sometimes, listening is just para ma-unload nila ‘yung nararamdaman nila. Hindi nila ine-expect na malalaman nila kung ano ‘yung solusyon, kung ano ‘yung sagot pero just the act of letting it out is very important.”
“Kung ano ‘yung pakikinig na hinihingi ng sitwasyon,” he said. It’s about striking balance as there are people who vent out for advice, while some, as mentioned, just want to be heard.
Charlie likewise underscored the need for validation, “Dapat iparamdam natin na valid ‘yung feelings nila. Huwag i-judge kung ano ‘yung mga shine-share sila kasi importante ‘yung nag-o-open sila.” Do not disprove their experiences or say things like, “okay lang ‘yan” or “just move on.” Without realizing it, such words have repercussions. It may lead to further emotional distancing and feelings of loneliness and worthlessness.
While Charlie and Direk Raz stressed the importance of seeking professional help, they think that a simple act of talking to a friend or family member can be a good first step in combatting a mental health condition.
“Huwag laging kimkimin. Huwag laging sarilinin ang mga pinagdadaanan natin because no man is an island. You always need someone there for you. You just need to find the people you really trust, who will have your best interest,” shared Direk Raz.
Charlie seconded, “Hindi mo hawak ‘yung sitwasyon. Hindi mo kontrolado ‘yung sitwasyon. So, importante talaga na may mapag-open-an ka o makahingi ng suporta.”