Saturday, April 22, 2023

Getting Help! (Mental and Emotional Preparedness)

By Tim Gamble

Here is Part Two of yesterday's article on mental and emotional preparedness. If you missed it, click here

Getting Help!

1) Spouse, close friend or family member - Sometimes we just need someone to talk to, a sympathetic ear to listen to us. But not always easy if we haven't worked on building deep, meaningful relationships beforehand. 

2) Your pastor or elder - An older, wiser person on the same spiritual path as you can offer guidance, wisdom, and prayer. And maybe some practical advice based on their own years of experience.

3) Other clergy (pastors, priests, rabbis) - Even if your particular pastor cannot help, or if you simply don't have one, other clergy in your area often will be able to refer you to various local programs, support groups, and counselors that can help. Some pastors also have training in counseling, and may be able to offer some personal help. 

4) Some larger employers offer mental health services to their employees, ranging from crisis helplines to professional counseling services. Some sponsor support groups, such as AA and others, for employees and their families. Talk to your human resources department about what, if any, mental help services your company offers. 

5) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

6) Veteran's Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255

7) Anxiety and Depression Association of America

8) SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline – 1-877-726-4727 
(Get general information on mental health, and locate treatment services in your area.) 

9) Refer to the article Finding Help: When to Get It and Where to Go on the Mental Health America website. 

10) Addicted to Tobacco? Quitting Smoking (on the American Cancer Society website) 

11) Addicted to Alcohol? Alcoholics Anonymous

12) Addicted to Drugs? Narcotics Anonymous 

13) Porn Addiction? How Do I Find Help For Porn Addiction? (on the Rehab Spot website)

14) Porn Addiction? Pure Life Ministries 

15) Gambling Problem? Call the National Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER

16) If you are a runaway teen, or thinking about running away, call the National Runaway Hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY 

17) Getting right with God is a very important part of getting help. I encourage everyone to pray and read the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) for themselves. 

18) State and local governments typically have a lot of mental health resources available for those in need. Type the term "mental health services" along with your state, city or county, in the search engine of your choice to see what is available in your area.

There you go. A list of 18 possible sources of help for various mental and emotional issues. There is no excuse to not start working on your mental and emotional health now, before a true crisis hits. But what about someone who doesn't want help? Glad you asked.

Getting Help For Others!

This is difficult. Many folks who desperately need help with their issues simply don't want help. Or they refuse to admit there is even a problem. So, how do we help them? There is an answer, but it is one many folks won't like: Confrontation and Tough Love! Cuddling them, or ignoring the problem, won't work. 

1) Confront him (or her) individually. Don't yell at him, or make wild accusations, but do confront him about his problems. Be firm, even blunt, about there being a problem and about him needing to address it. Offer to help him to the extent that you can. This likely won't work, but it is the starting point.

2) Confront him (or her) as a group (sometimes called an intervention). Next, a group of his family and friends who are aware of the problem should confront him about it. Same rules as before.
3) Offer to help to the extent you can. I've already mentioned this, but you should offer to help to the extent that you can. This may mean just offering to help him find help (maybe from the list above), if that is all you can do. Maybe you can help him by being an "accountability buddy." Maybe you can offer to give him a ride to the support group, or even to go with him. Do what you can, but only what you can. Ultimately, it is his responsibility, NOT yours. 

4) Let him (or her) know you will no longer enable his bad behavior. Maybe this means you won't lend him money anymore. Or you are not going to bail him out of jail again at 2 in the morning (or any other time). Maybe this means he can't continue to live at your house until he cleans up his act. Stop doing whatever you are doing that enables his bad behavior. 

5) Actually STOP enabling their bad behavior. You MUST carry through on your threat to stop. This may cause problems, but if you love him, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to help him. Enabling bad behavior is NOT a loving thing to do.  

6) Be willing to welcome them back, IF and WHEN they get the help they need. Not before then.

As I said before, ultimately it is the individuals' responsibility to get help, NOT your responsibility to do it for them. If you tried everything you can think of, and they still won't try to help themselves, cut them loose. Yes, cut them loose. This is hard to do, but for your sake, and the sake of your other loved ones, it may become necessary. Rest easy knowing you tried. 
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