As part of the upcoming International Day of People with Disability, Tender Loving Care Disability Services embarks on a mission to shed light on the spectrum of disabilities we encounter daily. This series aims to foster awareness, spotlighting the individuals we serve and the reasons behind our steadfast commitment.
In this article, we’re exploring mental health conditions.
Get to Know About Mental Health Conditions
Mental health conditions encompass various challenges affecting how people feel, think, and interact with others. These conditions impact emotional, psychological, and social well-being, influencing an individual’s thoughts, behaviours, and relationships.
The causes of mental health conditions are multifaceted and often involve a combination of factors. Genetic predisposition plays a role in certain conditions, where an individual may inherit a susceptibility to develop a specific mental health issue. However, environmental factors also significantly contribute. Stressful life experiences, traumatic events, or adverse childhood experiences can trigger these conditions.
Moreover, the environment in which individuals grow and live, including social and cultural factors, can influence mental health. Lack of access to resources, socioeconomic disparities, discrimination, and societal stigma surrounding mental health can contribute to the development or worsening of these conditions.
Diagnosis of mental health conditions can occur at various stages of life, including childhood and adolescence. Early detection is crucial as it allows for timely interventions and appropriate support. By recognising symptoms early, individuals can receive the necessary guidance and treatment, leading to improved outcomes in managing these challenges.
Conditions within the Mental Health Spectrum
Mental health conditions manifest in various forms, each presenting distinct challenges that affect individuals’ well-being and daily lives. Here are some common conditions:
- Anxiety Disorders: This condition involves excessive worry, fear, and apprehension that can lead to significant distress and impact daily functioning.
- Depression: Characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable or fulfilling.
- Bipolar Disorder: People with bipolar disorder experience mood swings, fluctuating between extreme emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression).
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder): Develops after exposure to a traumatic event, leading to flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and avoidance of reminders of the event.
Creating An Inclusive Environment for People with Mental Health Conditions
An inclusive environment fosters a sense of belonging, support, and acceptance. For individuals dealing with mental health conditions, such an environment is paramount in reducing stigma and enhancing well-being.
To create an inclusive environment, here are key considerations:
- Foster open communication and empathy.
- Educate others about mental health conditions.
- Provide access to mental health resources and support.
- Establish a safe and calming space.
- Encourage open discussions about mental health.
- Accommodate individual coping mechanisms and needs.
- Offer access to resources or professional support when needed.
- Acknowledge and respect personal boundaries and preferences within the household.
- Implement anti-bullying policies and mental health awareness programs.
- Offer access to counselling and support services.
- Ensure reasonable accommodations in learning environments.
- Provide flexibility in academic requirements to accommodate varying needs.
- Establish a safe space or quiet area where students can retreat if feeling overwhelmed.
At the Office
- Implement inclusive policies and practices.
- Provide mental health training for staff.
- Offer flexible work arrangements when needed.
- Designate a confidential space where employees can take breaks or seek privacy.
- Offer mentorship programs or coaching for employees navigating mental health challenges.
At TLC, we prioritise supporting our team through challenging times. Understanding the impact of global events, we emphasise seeking help when needed. Through Sonder, our team has access to 24/7 support services like counselling and advice. We encourage utilising these resources for guidance and clarity during tough moments, reinforcing our commitment to our TLC family's well-being.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Fostering awareness and inclusivity diminishes stigma and nurtures support networks, empowering individuals managing mental health conditions and creating a more compassionate society.
This commitment to understanding and acceptance aligns with the International Day of People with Disability’s theme, ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with, and by persons with disabilities.’ This year’s theme underscores our collective efforts toward building an inclusive and equitable world, where every individual’s contribution is valued and supported, particularly those navigating disabilities, including mental health conditions.
Remember, support is available. If you or someone you know needs urgent mental health assistance, call triple zero (000). You may also reach out to Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue at 1300 22 4636.
#WeAllCan stand united in embracing diversity and supporting those navigating the challenges of mental health conditions.
- Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (n.d.). “Spotlight: Inclusive education - teaching students with disability.” Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/.
- JobAccess. (2016). “Accessibility Checklist for Employers.” Retrieved from https://www.jobaccess.gov.au/.
- International Day of People with Disability. (n.d.). About IDPWD. Retrieved from https://www.idpwd.com.au/.