With everything going on right now, I thought it'd be a good time to raise the following question: Why do we get annual doctor visits but not annual mental health check ups?
I was talking this over with my sister the other day and we were both a bit shocked by the realization. Imagine, what would happen if people got mental health check-ins and mental health professionals were able to help someone who was at risk or who was starting to show some maladaptive behavior? Imagine how much suffering and heartache and time they could save clients who all too often seek mental health help when things are at their worst?
This type of things is what the health community refers to as preventative care and, to me, especially in regard to mental health, this sounds like an amazing idea. How awesome would it be to catch someone and give them help before they start self harming or having suicidal thoughts? Saving people from having to experience that suffering would be such a blessing.
I'm not saying that preventative mental health care measures would be the end all be all panacea that would cure all mental ailments, but having support before things get to be too much to handle is always a good thing.
When I think about such preventative mental health care measures, I always drift back in time a little to when I was small and imagine how much more energy I could have had if someone gave me a few strategies to manage my emotions instead of me relying on my own constantly wavering willpower and motivation to get me through. And then my mind drifts back even further to how it could have changed my parents lives and even their parents lives.
During a time like this when there is not only ample time to think but an ample amount of things that can weigh us down mentally, I think it's important to brainstorm ways we can continue to add to the mental health conversation to make not only our lives better but future generations as well.