We are fortunate that we’re increasing our understanding of human psychology with each passing generation. While decades ago, we may have struggled with deep topics surrounding psychological distress, it’s wonderful that we live in increasingly enlightened times. However, there are a few caveats to being so informed.
That’s why Happego was created! We want to empower your mind to think happy thoughts. It is our genuine hope that healthcare continues to support mental health beyond its current level. Furthermore, it will be wonderful to see more and more services adopt the priming model – at the very least, let’s raise awareness of these beneficial techniques!
Building an ‘awareness’ of suicide seems to be a top priority for health services. It’s clear why this is the case. After all, we are more empathetic towards individual psychology than ever before. However, raising ‘awareness’ of suicide may not be the healthiest way to ensure that the people around us receive the care and support they deserve.
Is Formal ‘Awareness’ Necessary?
In one sense, it’s great that healthcare across the world is showing improved awareness of mental health, especially in younger people. It’s clear that more money is being invested in associated treatments and care. What’s more, the growth of the internet is actively helping young people to find resources that help them to understand what they are feeling.
On its own, suicide seems to be an odd thing to spread ‘awareness’ about! There is a danger that sharing too much information on topics such as this could breed new ideas and feelings in younger people. Of course, specific urges and emotions cannot be restricted – we all feel how we feel. However, there has to be a healthier way to help support people around us who require support and guidance.
We’re seeing more and more people connecting with each other lately. That is, of course, as a result of lockdown initiatives. As we are all largely in the same situation, reaching out to one another has become a necessary move. Now is certainly not the time to shut yourself away from others beyond social distancing requirements!
What are some positive ways in which we can support young people – and older people – who may be struggling with their mental health?
Applying Priming Principles
Reading various resources online, you will likely find that most experts, papers, and healthcare services agree – that prevention is key in helping people with suicidal thoughts. However, more often than not, these measures seem to be a little in your face. While the intentions are honorable, such a process could do more harm than good.
Therefore, we must think carefully about how to adapt our psychological processes for the better. The principles of priming, of course, can help us to look at ways in which we can prepare our brains for negative feelings. Feeling negative things and thinking negative thoughts is, of course, natural. Yet, there are plenty of coping mechanisms that can help us to moderate what we feel.
Priming is an effective way to begin adapting our minds to pay attention to specific cues and feelings. Rather than focusing on the negative, we can adjust our minds to focus on happy feelings at a subconscious level. One of the drawbacks of raising awareness and focusing on how to resolve negative thoughts and feelings is that it is easy to revolve around that problem.
Focusing too much on negative feelings, such as suicide, is a self-perpetuating cycle. Again, I do not doubt that suicide awareness operations are pure in intention! Nonetheless, there needs to be a positive way to help people cope with intense, negative emotions. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways in which we can prime and mold our minds to prepare.
Avoiding the Trivialization of Suicide
Priming techniques avoid the issue of trivializing adverse mental health. What do I mean by this? Let’s look at it this way. By ‘raising awareness’ of strong negative thoughts, you are giving them a platform. What’s more, there is a risk that you are showing it to be a limited issue. The best way to show support, therefore, is to offer people tools to help prime and prepare their minds for the best.
It’s great that there are so many people and bodies out there helping people with negative feelings and emotions! However, in my opinion, it is always going to be better to offer people the opportunity for support, and mechanisms they can use, instead of dumbing down the issues.
For example, priming is a useful way to help train our minds to adapt away from the negative. By recognizing our trigger points, and researching how our brains react to specific factors, we can prepare ourselves for the future. Surely finding the tools to support ourselves is more effective than wallowing in harmful advice and its perpetuation?
Again, ‘awareness’ initiatives are, in many ways, great things. Although there are more effective and kinder ways to ensure that people in need of help can receive the care they need and deserve. In my opinion, and according to studies, priming can help to prepare our minds to look at the world with brighter lenses.
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