Early intervention in mental health involves prompt initiative, assessment and delivery of effective treatment mechanisms to people at risk or who might be in the early stages of a mental health crisis. More often than not, the timeline between diagnosis and the mental health crisis becoming a full-blown catastrophe is concise; without effective treatment, it carries with it the potential to wreck families and ruin entire lives.
One of the Prominent reviews (Rapid Reviews) on early intervention describes it; thus, “Prevention in mental health aims to reduce the incidence, prevalence and recurrence of mental health disorders and their associated disability.” Preventive interventions are based on modifying risk exposure and strengthening the individual’s coping mechanisms.
Here is a list of early intervention strategies that can be employed, in no particular order.
- Provide Timely Interventions Geared towards each Developmental Stage–
Each stage of an individual’s life carries its own challenges and roadblocks. Some cross over them effortlessly, while others struggle with basic preliminary tasks. Acknowledging that there is a problem that needs urgent attention can sometimes be the toughest challenge since we are so accustomed to portraying that veneer of “perfectionism.” Effective intervention and treatment at the right time can be a life-saving drug.
- Hire a Mental Health Coach–
Children exhibit many behaviors that might seem problematic and rebellious at the surface but might have a different justification underneath. For instance, family conflict at home might trigger a child to be violent and aggressive. Or it might lead to social withdrawal. Various individuals might have different coping mechanisms when presented with the same stimuli. Left Unchecked can lead to bad decisions, career upheaval and dependency on drugs in later years. Mental health coaches are trained coaches and can use techniques from the therapeutic approaches they are certified in to treat you. With my personal experiences as an NLP Practitioner with successful interventions with Mental health clients, I can confidently say that Coaches can help build strategies and habits to improve their mental health conditioning.
- Increase Social Awareness–
A Mental health disorder is not a forbidden topic, contrary to society’s belief. There could be a host of reasons behind someone’s behavior and culture as a whole must embrace this without judgment. The timeline followed by the majority might not be someone’s reality, which is perfectly okay. This system of categorizing someone based on external circumstances must stop. Needless to say, it’s time society practiced more restraint and awareness before “putting someone into a box.”
- Better Lifestyle Choices–
The immediate environment dramatically affects how an individual perceives external circumstances. It has a direct bearing on their thoughts, actions and choices. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a stable home environment devoid of drama and unwarranted conflict. Sometimes, mental health professionals advise individuals to remove themselves physically from the “high conflict situation” as a last resort if all other strategies fail.
- Paid Time Off–
To promote mental health and talk about it openly without fear of backlash, significant companies have instituted paid time off. There should be zero guilt associated with taking time off, saying No occasionally and emphasizing rest. Individuals can spend time with their families and invest in their well-being and self-care. Self-care, contrary to popular opinion, is not a luxury.
- Encourage Dialogue–
Mental health issues must be discussed openly in seminars, gatherings and social media Channels. There have been instances where famous celebrities have spoken about their shortcomings and battles with mental health publicly and unapologetically. This has somewhere caused the tide to turn in a favorable direction. More and more people have embraced their own challenges due to it.
- It’s Okay to Not be Okay–
Having feelings of inadequacy and failure is a common human experience. Young boys and girls spend a score of time presenting themselves as others, as is the trend in the zone. If they can’t, they start getting depressed about being different and sometimes end up in radical habits to present themselves as others. It’s time to reframe the narrative. Humans are not machines that work on precisely the same scientific formulae. Humans condition themselves and adapt unconsciously to the tacit knowledge they encounter. Every individual is different and unique. Accepting this difference and uniqueness is key to more robust mental health.
I cannot emphasize the importance of early intervention in treating any mental health disorder. Early detection can sometimes be the one crucial denominator that can spell the difference between success and bitter defeat. It’s time to normalize conversations centered around mental health.
No one is supposed to struggle in Silence!
If you know someone who appears to be perfectly “put together” on the outside. Yet, you have a sneaking suspicion that all is not well in their World, do not hesitate to reach out.
Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified Trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder approved New Code NLP and NLP Master Practitioner Certifications Courses in India and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Apart from the Trainings, he covers a wide niche of coaching including Relationship Coaching, Parenting Coaching, Leadership Coaching.
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