Children’s Health Fair – Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign (5/7/2016)
We are very thankful for a wonderful turn-out at the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign today despite the rain.
Big thanks to ClubSport, Fremont, for the facilities and accommodation. Jumpy House really added a lot of fun for the kids!
Big thanks to Fremont Human Services Department, Youth & Family Services Division (YFS) and Family Resource Center (FRC), ClubSport and SoundPostYouth for sharing valuable information about children’s health.
Big thanks to Vision Graphics and the FUSS volunteers for doing a Photo-Digitizing Fundraiser to support children’s mental health awareness programs in Fremont schools.
Big thanks to Vice Mayor, Lily Mei, for coming to our event and showing great support.
Please see the following article written and provided by Ms. Patricia Sarmiento in support of the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign.
How to Help a Loved One with Depression
When a friend or loved one suffers from depression, you might feel helpless and unsure how to support them. You might also feel frustrated – frustrated that someone you care for is overcome with feelings of hopelessness and other symptoms, or frustrated due to a lack of understanding of the disorder and how little control those who suffer from it truly have over their symptoms.
I know these feelings all too well. For several years, I’ve helped a close family member with bipolar disorder navigate the sometimes devastating challenges of that disease. But while I didn’t always think I was helping as much or as well as I should be, I will say that I’ve been honored to have them open up to me and allow me to provide the best support I could and for them to forgive my shortcomings along the way. What I can say with 100 percent certainty is that I’ve learned a lot in the process. Read on for a few tips on how to help a loved one cope with the challenging symptoms of depression.
Learn About Depression
It’s easy for friends and family who don’t understand depression to say things like, “Cheer up,” or, “Snap out of it.” To you, it may be as simple as just brushing it off, but to your loved one, it’s impossible. That’s why it’s important to learn about the condition and gain an understanding of the symptoms your loved one may experience. One of the most important things you can do is to empathize with them and legitimize their experiences.
Reduce Stress as Much as Possible
Of course, you’re not in control over how much stress a friend or loved one experiences, but there are some things you can do to help alleviate stress for a loved one suffering from depression. If you live in the same home, for instance, you can pick up a few extrahousehold tasks to help save them some time in the evenings after work. Do something nice as a surprise, like taking them out for dinner and a movie, or simply offering a sympathetic ear and support when they need to talk. Or help them create a mood-boosting space in their home. Having a relaxing, calming spot to escape with a cup of tea and a good book is an amazing de-stressor.
Encourage Socialization (Gently)
Depression often causes those afflicted to withdraw socially, isolating themselves from friends, family, and the activities that once brought them joy. Gently encourage your loved one to participate in social activities when possible, such as having a few close friends over for a fun, themed dinner party or volunteering with a local charitable organization. Don’t push too hard, though, as too much socialization can have the opposite effect on some people, particularly those who are introverts.
Be Patient While Encouraging Healthy Habits
Patience is imperative when trying to help a loved one with depression. Symptoms will not disappear overnight, but adopting healthy habits can help. You can lend support by encouraging a healthy lifestyle — help your loved one commit to a regular bedtime routine for ample sleep, a healthy diet that avoids foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, and regular exercise, even if it’s a short daily walk or simply getting outdoors for a few minutes each day. Swimming is also a great choice—it’s a great cardio workout and being in the water can be quite calming and a great mood booster.
There are many things you can do to help a loved one with depression, much of it involving being supportive, encouraging, and helpful without being too overbearing. When you find the right balance and learn what you can do to ease your loved one’s stress and encourage healthy activities, you can play a major role in helping your loved one.
Patricia Sarmiento loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.