Please share this post to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health.
This post is on the topic of anxiety. Recently, I took a course through my employment with Douglas College to get certified in Mental Health First Aid. It was incredibly eye opening, bringing awareness to many topics I had not considered before. When the topic of anxiety came about, I felt nervous to share my story but did anyways. I then found out I wasn't the only one it the room that had these feelings.
Our workshop leader, who is extremely passionate about the subject, engaged us in many differing tasks and activities to help the class understand mental illnesses. For the anxiety activity, we were placed into groups and told to come up with a sign or symptom of anxiety for every letter in the alphabet.
The alphabet has 26 works, we had four groups, meaning a total of over 100 words were brought to our attention regarding anxiety. These signs and symptoms are some of many various feelings one can experience. Anxiety is a part of being human. We must learn to accept it until it interferes with day-to-day living. When it takes over from letting you complete your day to day life, it can become a problem.
In this training, we were not taught to diagnose, but to notice lifestyle and behaviour changes in others. Those who are struggling with their mental health can give us signs that we may never catch on too. Now being certified in Mental Health First Aid, I feel even more confident in helping others find appropriate help.
*NOTICE: There are a variety of links in the blog post regarding mental health and the training I received. Since I have not found how to make them active yet, please copy and paste into your browser to view. *
Here is the first photo of the activity.
This favourite words from this one are
I can relate to many more of them as well. Did you know that all of these words can relate to the signs and symptoms of anxiety? Maybe some of them are new for you like they were for me.
Here is the second groups work.
The words that stood out for myself the most are procrastinates and irritation. I notice these traits within myself when I am extremely anxious or stressed about a certain situation.
Here is the third group's work.
Ah. Zombie like. We can all relate to this.
Here is the fourth group's work.
Personally, I feel oversensitive to most situations I am presented with. I have been told that I am over sensitive my whole life. The smallest things can affect me in very large ways and instead of being ashamed by my sensitivity, I am embracing it.
Overall, this activity was very intriguing to me and brought attention to our group what anxiety can look and feel like in others. Since it is a NORMAL reaction that the human body has adapted, it can be difficult at times to tell the difference between feeling anxious and having a mental health problem.
We were taught very well throughout the course to recognize that we are not taking this certification to diagnose others, but to notice behaviour changes. When the signs and symptoms are taking over one's ability to fulfill their daily life, it has become a problem.
If you, or anyone you know, are struggling with identifying if you have a mental health problem, I recommend seeing your family practitioner and doing online research of your own.
During a stress-less event at Douglas College, we had the counsellors come down and encourage students to take an online test regarding mental health problems and how we can help them.
Here is the website:
It is full of self help resources, personal stories and information from professionals to ensure your safety.
Knowing that you are not the only one who experiences anxiety, is a relief to those consumed by it. One lady in the course opened up about her GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), as did I, and we both felt connected in knowing we were not alone.
The Mental Health First Aid course was delivered by the amazing and informative, Carla Abichahine who works for the CDA Training and Development. I would recommend this course to anyone in the workplace. Specifically, those who are working with youth and young adults throughout public education. The link below shows more information about the training from Carla. I cannot thank her enough!
Thanks for reading How To Flourish.
ANXIETY IS A NORMAL HUMAN REACTION TO STRESSFUL SITUATIONS. IT BECOMES AN ISSUE WHEN IT INTERFERES WITH DAY-TO-DAY ISSUES. FIND OUT MORE ON