❤️ Click here for a printable version of these resources ❤️
Hotlines for people in crisis:
- Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, at any time)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
- The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386)
- For suicide hotlines by country: International Association for Suicide Prevention
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: access online, call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522
Mental health resources for people of color & immigrants:
- Foreign Bodies is an oustanding newsletter + online community “centering immigrant and refugee experiences with a mission to de-stigmatize mental illness and encourage personal storytelling,” born out of the Carter Center Mental Health Program. Tips from their newsletter on how to talk to your immigrant family about mental illness are below.
- Four Ways People of Color Can Foster Mental Health and Practice Restorative Healing, from Mindful.org, including
Coronavirus specific resources:
- The CDC has great general tips for how to handle coronavirus anxiety and stress
- The national Disaster Distress Helpline is open for covid-19 concerns: Call 1-800-985-5990, or you can text TalkWithUs to 66746
- Mental Health America has free online screening tools to assess your mental health as well as links to many resources
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration has a national helpline to guide you through treatment options (1-800-662-HELP) as well as numerous other online resources
- The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has high quality information on mental illness topics, an online community, and a section with hundreds of personal stories of hope from community members.
- Psychology Today – one of the most comprehensive directories of therapists and psychiatrists, searchable by a number of filters including cultural sensitivity training and languages spoken.
- Ayana Therapy – a soon-to-launched resource for online therapy for marginalized an intersectional therapy
Tips from Dr. Sharon Lo (via Foreign Bodies, Issue 14)
For parents during and after the talk
- Don’t get defensive or angry.
- Remember, this isn’t about you or your reputation. It’s not even about your child’s reputation.
- Don’t project guilt or let them feel they’re being ungrateful or weak by expressing their truth.
- Write down what confuses you so you can do your research after the talk.
- Avoid joking about their experiences; this can feel like an immediate dismissal.
- Sometimes, parents might think changing the subject helps take the pressure or focus off, but don’t do this. Leave room for discomfort.
- Don’t place blame on: a lack of exercise, a lack of faith, a bad academic record, friends, the supernatural, your decision to migrate, yourself.
- Don’t tell them they just want attention.
- Don’t tell them they can’t trust medicine or other treatment options or project your own beliefs about the system onto them.
- Don’t discount their feelings just because you believe you had it worse.
- Remind them that you are rooting for them and will do whatever you can to help.
- Remind them that coming forward is a sign of strength.
- After the conversation: Continue to check in, ask how you can help and consider letting your guard down to establish a stronger emotional connection.
For youth and young adults before, during and after the talk
- Do your research. If you need to, keep notes on hand.
- If you communicate best through writing (like I do) write a letter or email before meeting in person.
- Before your talk, think about how your loved ones might respond negatively and prepare your own reaction to that to avoid an emotional fallout.
- Keep in mind that they, too, may be living with trauma or a mental illness, but there’s no need to point that out in the initial conversation if your parents are likely to grow defensive. Let them address their experiences, if they want to.
- Make the conversation about you and your symptoms, not about them and their parenting.
- Don’t sugarcoat your symptoms.
- Focus on the positives of therapy and treatment. This can show them that you want them to be included in the process, but that you’re trying to take control of the situation, too.
- Involve mental health professionals in the discussion or invite your parents to a therapy appointment, if you’re comfortable.
- If things get heated, suggest a break. Come back when you and your parents are more calm, even if that means you chat at a later date.
- If you just don’t think you’re ready for another confession or confrontation, lean on outside support, such as friends, safe and supportive online forums and, if you can afford it, counseling.