Mental Health Curriculum In New York A Mental Health Milestone

A psychotherapist could very well agree that the stigma associated with mental illnesses stands as a barrier which gets in the way of creating social environments that are conducive to recovery. The alarming thing about this reality is as the stigma gets louder, more and more people suffer from mental illnesses in silence.


How Widespread Are Mental Illnesses?

The National Institute of Mental Health conducted studies revealing that in the US, about 20% of adults experienced an anxiety disorder in 2017 and around 31% will experience it at some point in their lifetimes. Also, approximately 7% have experienced at least one major depressive episode in their lives. On the other hand, among children, about 23% of more than 10,000 adolescents have been diagnosed with severe mental issues. Still, in other studies, it was discovered that half of the mental illnesses begin at as young as 14 years old, while 75% of mental disorders find their onset at the age of 24.

With the prevalence of mental health issues nowadays especially among children, New York States recent decision to include mental health as part of the curriculum in schools is both timely and essential.

“Mental health is complex, and it would be a lot easier if we were like cars.” – Dr. Mitch Keil, clinical psychologist

What Will Happen In This Curriculum Change?


According to Bill Number A3887B issued by the New York State Assembly, school districts are being called upon to ensure that their health education programs recognize the various dimensions of health and as such, include mental health alongside physical health in health education. A new paragraph is thereby added to the Education Law 504, effective ever since July 1, 2018.

Note that this is a change that will happen across the board. Even kindergartens will get exposure on mental health education at their tender age. According to Kristen Purcell, Assistant Coordinator for Innovative Teaching and Learning at OCM BOCES, mental health education in kindergarten would look like a teacher sitting in the midst of a circle of five and six-year-old toddlers. They will devote portions of the school time just talking about how they feel and what makes them happy, sad, or upset. On the other hand, for high school and college students, instructors will go on a deep dive for a more comprehensive take on the subject matter.

Why The Need For This Change?

Legislators justify this curriculum change as a way to update the New York State law. It keeps public education at par with the recent advancements in the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. The said law is already 40 years old. It is the right time to make it at pace with the changing times.

“Awareness is the beginning of all change.” – Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT


The inclusion of mental health topics in the curriculum is also a statement about how people ought to recognize the importance of mental health. It should have as much importance as physical health. State law is practically telling everyone that mental illnesses aren’t as visible as other diseases. However, it does not diminish their intensity and harmful effects. The World Health Organization considers health to be a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Mental health is just as significant as other aspects of wellness.

Moreover, teaching mental health to students allows them to be more self-aware. People who are knowledgeable about mental health are more likely to recognize it when they start to feel it. Thus, know when and how to seek help. Understanding of mental diseases also allows them to think through their feelings properly. They do not just dismiss their feelings as fleeting emotions. They tend to be more confident to speak up.

Finally, an initiative from the State to recognize mental health and espouse it in educational institutions is a progressive move. This creates a society that is more embracing of differences in mental states among people. It has a huge role in breaking the stigma against mental illnesses and those who experience it. By teaching the young generation, people with mental health concerns will get both assistance and acceptance.

New York is the first state in the US to require mental health to be a part of education programs. This progress gives us a glimmer of hope. Soon, more states and countries all over the world can also embrace mental health as a social concern. Our educational institutions can adequately address this issue. In no time, we will be able to recreate a society that embraces differences and disabilities. It is possible even at the level that is not visible to the naked eye.

“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core.” – Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC


Why Your Family’s Mental Health Matters

We live in the comfort of our homes with our family. They have always been there for us from as early as we were born. However, for some of us, this may not be the case. After all, a family is not limited to having a father or a mother. It is sometimes extended out to our relatives or to someone who has adopted us. Such a presence in our life can have lifelong effects in the future. Have you always wondered how your family’s mental health could affect you? Here are four ways how.

Damaged Relationships


When someone is mentally ill, it affects factors such as communication and actions. They keep themselves in the confines of their thoughts and problems. Your relationship as a family is not the only relationship affected by isolation. It also affects your relationship with your friends or partner. Damaging your relationships limits your opportunities in life. Have you ever heard of the quote, “No man is an island?” Social isolation has similar health risks as smoking cigarette or obesity.

Stress Arises

“Everyone handles positive and negative stress differently. And yes, for some, positive stress can lead to a negative response to stress, depending on the situation.” Jessica Harris, LCPC, LPC used to say. Knowing that one of your loved ones is struggling with a mental illness can be very stressful. It can become tough when you take care of them while balancing your everyday tasks. Stressed people often share the same experiences when managing their mental health. It can build up tension in your homes making your home feel very uncomfortable. Stress can also have significant physical effects on your body as well. Certain studies have linked stress to heart disease and high blood pressure. It is also known to lower your immune and digestive systems.

Affects An Individual’s Growth


For example, since you were always busy with work, you never realized that your son is a victim of bullying. The bullies would laugh at what he wears, thus lowering his self-esteem. They would call him names that were funny to the bullies but were verbally abusive. This bullying continued causing him significant psychological damage. You never noticed this because he always appeared to be okay, until one day you find out that he decided to take his own life. Now, the future you have wished for him has now disappeared. As exaggerated as this example may sound, it is still not too far from happening. Bullied victims have suicidal thoughts two to nine times more likely than non-victims. However, “Not all people who have thoughts of suicide end up acting on those thoughts. But for those who do, generally there is deep emotional pain combined with a belief that things will never improve.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC explained. 


Dealing with someone’s mental illness can become both emotionally and physically draining. An individual loses their motivation to do everyday activities due to exhaustion. Lack of motivation can affect one’s lifestyle from schooling to work. It can also affect both their professional and personal relationships. Certain diseases such as heart disease and a weakened immune system may also arise from this. I have experienced this back then, and losing the motivation to do anything often leads to giving up. It taught me the value of moving on and pushing onwards.

Tips For Handling Your Family’s Mental Health

It is tough to watch over a member of your family’s mental health. It can be very frustrating and challenging at times, but here are some tips to help you.

  • Always Get Together

Devote some of your time to bond with your family. It doesn’t have to be every day; a simple Sunday dinner would be enough. Let this serve as a form of a breather for whatever you may be going through.



  • Communication Is The Key

Try to get informed on how things are at work or school. Make sure to check up on them from time to time. You don’t need to know everything since some actions may tell you a difference in their stories. Encourage them to open up to you from time to time.

  • Keep The Feeling Of Love Alive

Feeling loved gives you a sense of security and healthy self-esteem. Make sure to show your trust and care for one another. Doing this may help develop positive relationships in the future.

  • Avoid Abuse

Abuse is never a good thing. It is capable of mentally damaging your children or partner. You should avoid it at all costs since it is a leading factor for depression and low self-esteem.

  • Be Careful Of Your Actions

“A mental illness cannot be willed away or brushed aside with a change in attitude. Ignoring the problem doesn’t give it the slip either.” Deborah Serani, PsyD said. In some cases, the cause of one’s mental illness comes from their own family. Your words and actions may affect both your children or partners, so always be sensitive. It is essential to take note of how to handle fights. Remember to say sorry sometimes.

  • Knowledge Of Any Existing Mental Illness

We know that some mental illness needs daily care while others are episodic. You will be able to select the appropriate actions to take if you know your loved one’s condition.

Do you want to be more attentive to your family’s mental health? Check out this website regularly for more information.

Acceptance: Moving On From A Break Up Is The Only Way To Heal Yourself


We were supposed to be staying together, forever. That was the plan. Actually, it was our promise to each other. He was going to be faithful and loyal to me and me with him. Twenty years ago, we made that pact in front of our family, friends, and loved ones. God himself blessed this pact we made. We were wed, and it was the happiest day of my life. I didn’t know that it would change and or that he would break his promise.

He got tired of you as his woman.”


My grandfather said that in such a blunt manner that the sting of his words cut me to the core. People get tired of loving other people? Was I so blind that I didn’t see it? What happened to me? Why was I clouded with my love for him that I forgot to put my feet on the ground and check reality as it is happening in the four corners of our home? Why didn’t he say something?

 “We should examine the inextricable role that self-love plays in any and all human connection.” – Clinical Psychologist and relationship expert Molly Gasbarrini, Ph.D.

Is it so easy to fall out of love? I tried my best. I know I did. But like James Ingram said in his song, “I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.” I mean, why wasn’t I good enough? I know I am pretty. I may be a bit old, but I am still physically beautiful. I didn’t become overweight. In fact, my body is as slim as I was when we first met. I took care of my health, as well, and exercised several days a week. I wanted to be pleasing to his eyes, and I did my absolute best on that.

“Anxiety is often used as a tool to help you push yourself to your limit of achievement. The downside is that there are often negative meanings attached, such as not being good enough or not valuing rest.” – Kristine Tye, MA, LMFT


As for my attitude towards him, even his mother told me, “You are such a kind person, Belle.” Does that mean he doesn’t like a kind woman? Maybe he likes someone who is chubby or naughty? Did I bore him to death? I mean, this is me. This is all me. This is all I can be and how I am for him. Maybe, he just didn’t like the real “me.” But he should have been honest.


And so, I look at the right side of my bed, and it’s been empty for a while now. He won’t be coming back. That’s what he said. He said he doesn’t love me anymore and that he doesn’t want to pretend. He said he’d been acting for the last five years. Five long years. He should have told me sooner.

 “If emotions become heightened, it’s a good idea to implement a safe word prior to the discussion which indicates that one of the partners needs to take a break,” – Michelle Smith, LMHC

I guess it’s okay. I mean, there’s nothing else I can do but learn how to live life without his surname. Now, it is real. He doesn’t want to be with me, and I have to accept that. I need to move on from that.


So far, the ways for me to cope is to listen to music whenever I feel bad. I open YouTube and type MISSING YOU by Diana Ross. I also check out Jorja Smith’s TEENAGE FANTASY and BLUE LIGHTS, just to get my groove going. Sometimes, it forces me to dance. Bonnie Raitt was right in her song; I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME:


‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t

You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t

Here in the dark, in these final hours

I will lay down my heart, and I’ll feel the power

But you won’t, no you won’t

‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t


In time, I will get there. I have to be. I need to be. There’s no other way for me to be.


Why Do You Struggle Making Your First Therapy Appointment?

No matter how advanced our world has become, how innovative science has been, and the many breakthroughs the medical field has achieved, people are still adamant in recognizing mental illness.  Admitting that you are suffering from anxiety or depression is still hard.  Many may claim that they have liberated points of view and that they are open to anything, but when it comes to mental health issues, their mind is still closed.   They find it difficult to accept that they are unhealthy and something is wrong up there, that a mental health issue exists in their lives.   Some are still skeptical when they hear about it.


The stigma is still there.  Many are afraid to come out and talk about it, and so is seeking help.


Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Suffer From Mental Health Issues?


People Do Not Understand.  “So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.” Lillian Harris LCPC-C said. Some do not recognize depression as an illness.  They think it is just something that needs cheering up and it will go away.


I Did Not Choose To Be Depressed.  No one wants to feel down, numb, or continually stressed to the point of living in isolation, and at times wanting to just end all of it by just taking your life.  No one wants to stay for days without bathing or eating.


I Can Manage“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core.” Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC  used to say. Some people struggling with depression find it hard to realize they are depressed.  They think of it as a simple case of feeling sad and down, and they are confident that it will go away.   If somebody gets your attention about depression, recognize and have it checked to be sure.   It cannot be successfully addressed unless it is identified, understood, and accepted.


I Don’t Want Them To Look At Me Differently.  Do not fear of being misunderstood or being judged by friends or family.  It is not just you who is affected by depression or anxiety.  There are others out there who are just as afraid as you are and are in denial for fear of being disconnected.


I Hate Change“Awareness is the beginning of all change.”  As Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT  once said. Some people may have admitted that they are depressed, but their unwillingness to deviate from the unhealthy habits they have developed while in depression stops them from seeking help.   They try to persuade themselves that it is okay to be in confinement, that there is no problem eating unhealthy food like chocolate.


Clues That You Or Someone You Know Could Be Depressed

When someone says, “I think he’s depressed,” what comes to mind are:


  • Feeling and looking sad most of the time
  • Frequent crying spells (at times for no reason)
  • Not showing any emotions (neither positive or negative)
  • Cannot find the desire or spirit to get out of bed or leave the house
  • Failure to do his responsibilities or do his work
  • Does not have the zest to take care of his activities of daily living
  • Contemplate about suicide


These are not just it; depression presents itself in many different facets and manifestations which are often ignored. Some are not even aware that it can be deadly when not given proper attention.


Depression and other mental health issues are not illnesses that you could deal with alone and not things that will easily go away by popping in some pills like a cold.


You need someone in your life to get through with it.  You need someone’s hand to pull you out of it.  You need to eat healthy food and choose to have a healthy lifestyle.


You may not yet be ready to admit it, but you have to.  Depression is not a choice you make.  However, you do have a choice to fight it and overcome the symptoms, but it is something that is hard to do on your own.  Do not be afraid of the silence surrounding mental health issues.  Seek help sooner.  Do not suffer alone.

In our busy lives, there is always an underlying hesitance in us to see a therapist. We often disregard our feelings. In the end, we struggle to manage them, leading to disruptive problems in our lives. However, we need to keep an open mind and watch out for signs to seek professional help.


You Feel Intense Emotions

Agnes M. Boksa, PsyD, LP once said, “Emotional health plays a critical role in our overall health and life enjoyment.” Emotions are not inherently evil; even feelings such as anger and sadness are natural parts of life. The problem is when you experience such in extremes. Examples include prolonged periods of feeling blue, being ticked off over the smallest of things and worrying over things that may never even happen.


When you find yourself often overcome with your emotions, this may be a telltale sign that you may be struggling with something you are not aware of. Seeking help from a professional can help you dig deeper into the root of these intense feelings.


You Can’t Function Well In School Or Work

In connection with the previous point, your emotions may start to affect your ability to accomplish day-to-day activities negatively. Extreme bouts of anger, periods of sadness or anxiety may inhibit you from studying well in school, for instance. Similarly, your worries may also keep you up late at night, affecting your performance at work the following day. “So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.” Lillian Harris LCPC-C said.


Likewise, even if you don’t experience intense emotions, you may find yourself becoming more forgetful or careless with your daily tasks.  There may be a noticeable decrease in your productivity in the office or negligence to notice even massive mistakes in a paper you’re about to turn in. Such are symptoms of a more significant problem that you may wish to bring up with a therapist.


You No Longer Enjoy Previous Interests

Even when dealing with school or work, everyone has some interest that they hold outside of this. Such may be activities such as reading, dancing, painting, photography or even merely watching television programs. 


Sometimes, we outgrow specific activities and move on to other ventures. However, when you find yourself continually putting off or avoiding things you used to enjoy without having anything else that interests you, this is something to be worried over. It may be something worse than simply being stuck in a rut and may be a sign of psychological problems such as depression.


Your Loved Ones Have Tried to Speak With You

Unfortunately, it isn’t a guarantee that when something is wrong, we’ll immediately realize it. Sometimes, it takes someone pointing it out or trying to reach out before we come to terms that we may be struggling with something we won’t immediately overcome.


Friends, family or a significant other may come to you talking about being concerned and worried about some actions you have exhibited. When this happens, you should start becoming concerned and consider taking a step back to assess yourself. After all, we’re not always aware of the changes in our behavior, and we may be denying the fact that we are dealing with complicated issues. Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.  suggests that “If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose.”


You Have Strained Relationships

Another warning sign is if you find yourself having strained relationships. This isn’t merely related to romantic ties. If you notice that you haven’t spoken or gone out with friends or family, you may be alienating yourself from others. Similarly, it’s also a worrying signal if you have had trouble starting and maintaining friendships and romantic relationships over the past months or years.


In Summary

While these are some indicators that tell you when it’s time to seek professional help, there are others that have not been discussed in this article. If you are experiencing much emotional or psychological stress and you’re not sure if it’s enough to see a therapist, going in for a consultation would be the safest and best decision to go with.


You may very well discover that you won’t have to come in for several sessions but simply speaking with a professional for a few minutes could help change your whole outlook on life and yourself.

Coping With Medical School Stress

Medical school can test your limits. In four (or more) years, you will be stretched both physically and emotionally. You will have to do hospital rotations for consecutive nights. You will have to memorize a lot of medical jargon: all kinds of diseases, their symptoms, and their corresponding cure. During your internship, you will have to study cases while establishing a good rapport with your patients as well as your superiors. 


However, there are times when you ask yourself if all this is even worth it. You tend to question your decisions. You might be thinking of quitting medical school altogether. What should you do to endure medical school and the undue stress you are currently suffering? Here are some simple and straightforward tips you might find useful:


Maintain A Close-Knit Circle Of Friends

Having friends in medical school has many benefits. You will be able to read your materials faster because you have a group of friends that will support you. You have a de facto study group every time. “You know the ones—these are the people you know you can always call, text, or email when you need to feel a connection.” David Klow, a licensed therapist said.


You and your friends will be able to help each other in preparing for your exams. Each of you has your own specializations. Hence, you will be able to lend each other’s hand in understanding each topic better. 


Find A Healthy Hobby

Your hobby should be something that will help you take your mind off your medical school-induced stress. Take note that this hobby should be healthy. This hobby should not jeopardize your health. Remove excessive drinking, recreational drugs, or binge eating from this potential list of “hobbies.” As Whittney Thoman, Senior Exercise Physiologist used to say, “The more you are active, the more you decrease your risk for chronic diseases, including cancer.”


Do you enjoy watching movies or tv series? Maybe it’s time to take a breather from studying and memorizing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (or some other disease).  


Establish A Support Group

Your support group can be a different set of people from your medical school friends. These people can include your friends from home, high school friends, and even your relatives. These are people who know you well enough from the inside out. Remember, “We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.” Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC said.


Run to these people when you think you are already running empty. They can help you recharge by talking to you about the things that are going on inside your head. 


Decide On Going For Therapy 

If you think that you are already entertaining depressive thoughts for a long time, you should also consider going to therapy. Stress can contribute to developing depression. You may have already known what the benefits of going to therapy are, but you are still scared to try. Don’t be scared of the stigma of going to therapy. Luckily, there is a lot of awareness now about mental health


Even the strongest people fall sometimes. It is best to acknowledge your weaknesses to be a better version of yourself. Your therapist will help you with every step of the way. 


Medical school is a daunting place. Only the brave and the willing can finish this grueling training. You can get past medical school-related stress with the help of your classmates, engaging in healthy hobbies, and going for therapy. You will be sure to pass with flying colors and with your mental health intact. 

Recognizing Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is an emotional state that transcends societies and cultures; virtually everyone has experienced the cold sweat, racing heartbeat, and restlessness that accompany it. Experiencing anxiety is normal and even expected, but too much exposure can have deleterious effects on your psyche. 


In 2016, the global prevalence of anxiety disorders is at 4%, with around 270 million affected worldwide. A finding by the National Institutes of Health estimates that 33.7% of the world population will suffer anxiety disorders at least once in their lifetime. Therefore, recognizing whether you may have anxiety disorders is a good step towards protecting your mental health, given the high prevalence of the condition. 


Signs Of Anxiety Disorders

According to Marla W. Deibler, PsyD “It’s ‘normal’ to experience some degree of anxiety when stressors are unfamiliar, unpredictable, or imminent.” What differentiates anxiety disorders from usual anxiousness is degree: the former is invasive enough that it interferes with day to day activities. Anxiety disorders also impose constant stress on the mind and body, leaving the person vulnerable to more diseases.


Accordingly, the most critical question to ask is whether the anxiety levels are high enough to prevent you from doing what you want. Do you find yourself distracted most of the time? Do you avoid specific activities or shy away from responsibilities out of excessive fear? If so, then these are signs you have unhealthy amounts of anxiousness.


“This is what it boils down to and it extrapolates to any social situation, It can be specific to certain social situations, it can be generalized to all social situations, but the anxiety is about judgement, and ultimately not being approved of and not being liked.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist used to say. Aside from activities, anxiety disorders may also manifest in the way you interact with people. It is most apparent in social anxiety disorder, which is characterized by feelings of severe anxiety when interacting with other people. Those affected have fears that they will be perceived as inferior or undesirable in social situations, leading them to avoid interaction as much as possible. It is different from introversion, as the anxiety is pathological and unhealthy.


Anxiety disorders impair the ability to assess stressors accurately. Many people who have these conditions tend to exaggerate the negative consequences of everyday events, living in constant fear of inadequacy and failure. This distorted viewpoint is a paralyzing force that imposes limits on how they can live out their lives. 


Finally, a prominent hallmark of anxiety disorder is persistence. While specific events can trigger the disorder, the resulting anxiety persists long after the stressor is gone. People usually describe this as feelings of dread that refuse to go away completely, consuming a large amount of their time and energy. Constant stress whittles away at their mental health and can lead to even more mental problems in the future, underscoring the need to identify the illness quickly and to seek out treatment.


What To Do

“Anxiety is unavoidable and designed for our survival and protection.”  Melissa Berschauer LMFT said. If you feel you have an anxiety disorder, find a time and place where you can sit down and reflect. Use the criteria mentioned above to assess whether your levels of anxiety are excessive enough to affect your life significantly. You may also ask your loved ones or closest friends to help you with your judgment since your anxiety might cloud your self-assessment.


If you conclude you may have an anxiety disorder, consult a mental health professional, who will ask you questions about your experiences and give you a diagnosis.

Anxiety disorders, once appropriately diagnosed, are highly treatable, with improvements becoming visible even after just a handful of counseling sessions. However, anxiety disorders are underreported like many mental disorders due to a general lack of awareness. Knowing how to identify when anxiety reaches unhealthy levels will help you preserve your mental health and live the life you want.  

My Psychiatrist Taught Me How To Prevent Another Suicide In The Family


It’s been five years since my older brother died tragically. He committed suicide – shot himself in the head – but it still feels like it was yesterday most nights, especially when I miss him. I still feel the pain, the sadness, and the guilt, for not having known that he was going to do it. I still think about why I didn’t see the signs, and why I didn’tget to say goodbye – because I never knew he would go away just like that. 


I’ve been in therapy for three months now, and I can say that it does help someone like me recover from depression. I actually didn’t know I was still depressed until I started realizing that I wasn’t happy, and that I haven’t gotten over my brother’s death. When I first came to visit my psychiatrist, she said I had to take medications to cure the chemical imbalance in my brain, which apparently caused the depression. Eventually, I felt a little relieved, a little lighter, a little happier.  Just to be clear, “Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.” Deborah Serani, PsyD. explains. 


Just the other weekend, I confided to my psychiatrist that Hannah, a cousin, told me that she was depressed – and sometimes she thought about ending her life. I asked for my doctor’s help, as my cousin is still hesitant to consult a professional. My psychiatrist was willing to share some tips to help me help Hannah open up about her issues and perhaps this time preventing another suicide in the family. 


Tips For Preventing Suicide Among Your Loved Ones



  1. Let Her Open Up. Obviously, it would feel uncomfortable if you blurt out your question to your cousin (or any family member for that matter) like, “Are you thinking of suicide right now?” No, it is indeed very difficult to talk about suicide, simply because they know you’ll freak out and maybe call 911. So just approach her when she’s alone and looking ‘far’ from the world. Ask her what the problem is and tell her that you’re there to listen. 



“Sometimes the reasons people don’t recognize the signs of suicide is because they are in denial, especially when it comes to those close to them.”  Torey C. Richards, LMHC used to say. The nearest question you are allowed to ask would be, “How have you been lately? You seem really sad. I know some people have really bad thoughts when they are sad, like not wanting to live anymore. Are you one of those people?” 


That could strike a deeper conversation and possibly let your loved one open up to you, leading you to learn more about how she’s feeling. You could be a great help in this situation, since now you can comfort her and remind her that life is precious and so is she. 



2. Show Them You Truly Care. Don’t let your loved one get the feeling that you’re just snooping around trying to know what she’s really planning to do. Show her that you don’t only sympathize but you empathize as well, meaning that you imagine how it feels like to be in her place and that you truly understand how she’s feeling, especially in my situation where I have experienced losing someone from suicide. Don’t just tell her that there’s more to life than your problems, or that things will get better soon. One thing you should remember is that you cannot control a person’s actions. You can only support her by talking with her and being with her. If she is suffering from substance abuse, which is what has led her to have suicidal thoughts, then offer to accompany her to a therapist. When you are dealing with people who think about taking their lives, talking would probably not be able to stop someone from doing the act, but not talking definitely won’t help either. 



3. Influence Her To Start A Healthy Hobby. This must be a cliché, but it is a fact that starting a healthy habit like exercise can do nothing but good. Invite her to run with you or perhaps bring her along with you when you go to the gym, and then slowly let her try it out. Studies have time and again proven how exercise improves a person’s mental and emotional well-being. “Be supportive and let them know it is not that you think something is wrong with them, but that you want them to have some help with their current challenges. Sometimes, people who are depressed want help but don’t know how to get started.” Vara Saripalli, PsyD. expresses.




4. Don’t Give Up Just Yet. I know it seems hopeless when you see someone who thinks that life is worthless. But you will never know unless you try. Don’t ever give up trying to help. Sometimes, all it takes is someone who will listen and be with them so they would feel important and significant. You may not realize it but when you do and you save someone from taking her life, you might just want to find the next person you want to help. 



Live and learn, everyone, and be happy!


My Husband, The Serial Cheater


What can I say? I’m old, fat, and haggard to say the least. No wonder my husband is cheating on me. Well, he has been cheating on me for the past five years. Moreover, I think he’s played with at least 20 girls. 


He doesn’t get a long-term affair girl, oh no, he’s not that type of cheater. What he wants are the young girls – those cheap beauty queens or models with skinny legs and empty brains aged twenty or twenty-one years old. He charms them and gives them gifts until he gets what he wants. As if I couldn’t give him what he wants, it’s the same thing, right? It’s that thing in between any woman’s legs. But no. He has been playing for so long, and I realized very late that it wasn’t because I was old, fat, or haggard. My husband cheats because he has personal issues, more like mental health issues.


“So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.” Lillian Harris LCPC-C


I know what you’re going to say – if you hate your husband so much, then why not leave him? File for a divorce, and get half of his money and properties! Bah!


First off, I don’t hate my husband. I know how your eyebrows are up right now and that you think I’m so stupid. Stop judging me. I’m not dumb either, but I am what you call a loyal and faithful Catholic wife. I’ve known my husband since we were in middle school. We grew up together, and there’s a lot of history there. He wasn’t a cheater like how he is now. In fact, I was his first girlfriend, first kiss, and first everything. We were each other’s “firsts,” that’s why the history and the roots there are deep.


What went wrong? Well, he had an accident six years ago. The doctor said his brain was injured severely and it was a miracle he survived. I was carrying our second-born at that time, and I did feel blessed that he was still with us. Little did I know that his almost fatal car crash would change our lives forever.


He began displaying an odd behavior a few months after he went back from the hospital. My husband became a stranger to me, and I didn’t act on it immediately. I thought it was because of his PTSD and depression, and so I let him go on. I thought I was helping him cope with being understanding and patient. After the accident, he was diagnosed with mental health disorders, and I attributed his illnesses on the way he behaved.

So, do you understand a bit now?


Second, my mind goes back to the idea of how we were before the crash happened. Our family wasn’t perfect, but we were happy. He loved me, and I loved him. Even if we had fights, he would never cheat on me. My husband was the ideal guy. If he didn’t hurt his head, this wouldn’t be happening right now. 


“Recovering from an affair is not impossible, but it takes a lot of work. It takes commitment and a willingness to forgive and move forward.”  – Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP


Is it his fault? No, I believe it’s not. The brain injury makes him do things that he won’t normally do. I didn’t even know that he was cheating on me if he didn’t blurt it out. There are times when he’d be “him,” and he’d be so remorseful that he cheated on me. 


Of course, it hurts. It hurts a lot because I can’t be angry with someone who acts under the influence of his mental health condition. And he begged me over and over again, “Please, don’t leave me.”


If you were in my position, what would you do? I have had issues of my own after the first discovery, and it took me five years to understand and take it all in. It was too much to bear since I had to help myself and help him also. We opted for remote online therapy a few months back, and even if it’s slow, there is progress. “This kind of effort takes a fair amount of commitment and understanding of the online world.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. used to say.


I learned it the hard way. My husband keeps on saying that it’s not my fault that I didn’t see his mental state slip away. But I’m his old, fat, and haggard wife. I should have seen it from the start and helped him then. At least now, we’re doing something.


Top 10 Mental Health Apps Of 2018 Part 2 (Best For Married Individuals With Issues)


We all have concerns when it comes to our married life, and it’s even more complicated when we have mental health issues. It is the reason why we need to reach out for assistance, and since we are in the “gadget age,” there are unconventional but useful ways to get help.


“I see mental health apps being very useful for people who cannot get to sessions as often as they would like, but I do not view them as a substitute for therapy,” Tanisha Ranger, PsyD


This blog is part 2 of the article Top 10 Mental Health Apps Of 2018 which was featured in this post. The last five apps mentioned here can not only help your relationships; it can also shed light on your mental health. Use it to make you a better person for your spouse, while coping with your problems and lessening disagreements.


SuperBetter (iOS, Android)


SuperBetter is a virtual game that motivates you to be more resilient, and have a positive outlook, especially if you are currently dealing with obstacles and problems in life. Players feel that they have better moods and are more confident in whatever they are doing.


I downloaded this app for myself. To register, you can create your account or connect it with your Facebook. It has lots of choices about which issue you want help with and more. If you’re going to overcome a challenge in your life, just choose from anxiety, depression, eating healthier, losing weight, lowering stress, and so on. I decided on losing weight because it’s been a struggle for me. But the good thing about this is that I lost 4.5 kilos already through Intermittent Fasting, and I’m on my 8-week mark. I need a bit of push, and SuperBetter is a great help in that aspect.


Anyway, with SuperBetter, you have things to do on a daily basis and when you’ve done it, just click I DID THIS. The app will prompt you for your achievements.


7Cups (iOS, Android)


7cups is an app that provides paid online therapy and free emotional support service whenever you feel sad, depressed, stressed or anxious. They have thousands of trained listeners and therapists ready to talk to you any time of the day. 


“Social media can be a good adjunct to treatment, but not necessarily a replacement. If online support and resources are all that some people can manage, then I think it’s important we support them in that.” Dr. Stephanie Smith, a clinical psychologist


If you check the reviews section using the iOS settings, Kurapika111 says that 7cups is for people who want to be heard but cannot speak their mind because they don’t want to be misinterpreted. Maxherondale says that the app is impressive since there are “listeners” who will listen to their rants. FabAt40plus calls it her mobile shrink. I mean, there are so many positive words to say about 7cups. 


Anxiety Relief Hypnosis (iOS, Android)


Anxiety Relief Hypnosis claims to improve relaxation and decrease anxiety within 1-3 weeks of using it. It works using hypnosis which reduces anxiety and increases positive behavior and stress dealing. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s next on my list of apps to use.


Happify (iOS, Android)


Happify helps you deal with negative thoughts and stresses. It also exercises your positive outlook on life. The app can assist you when you feel stressful, anxious and lonely. That’s why it’s called Happify. It can make you happy with its games and other activities. At least, when you’re feeling down and out, you can always open Happify to lift up your mood. 


“The most helpful definition of being positive is having hope and confidence in one’s ability to handle what’s tough, along with remembering that nothing is all negative all the time,” – Jo Eckler, PsyD


Talkspace (iOS, Android)


Talkspace is an app that provides counseling and therapy to help you deal with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues and chronic illnesses. It is a very convenient app which centers on anonymity and confidentiality so you can talk to them abot your deepest problems. Their licensed therapists will be open for all your mental health problems.