McAlester News-Capital

McAlester News-Capital office

Mental health became a struggle for many over the past year and we should all watch out for each other.

Professionals at Carl Albert Mental Health Center in McAlester spoke with us recently about several aspects impacting mental health — especially how the COVID-19 pandemic compounded those issues.

Some common signs of depression or other mental health issues include someone being more withdrawn or a personality change. Those can include missing work, snapping at people, seeming more irritable or tearful.

We can help each other by celebrating the wins. Carl Albert professionals told us "there’s a thousand reasons to say 'no' but to find the 'yes' is always the best way."

Some common signs of depression or other mental health issues include someone being more withdrawn or a personality change. Those can include missing work, snapping at people, seeming more irritable or tearful.

We can help each other by celebrating the wins. Carl Albert professionals told us "there’s a thousand reasons to say 'no' but to find the 'yes' is always the best way."

So let's encourage each other even for the little things instead of demeaning each other on social media about someone we haven't met and don't understand their situation.

We can all watch out for loved ones, friends and coworkers by watching for those signs and taking note if someone's affect is change.

Then ask the person how they are doing.

Some will immediately open up about their mental health issues, but most will take some time to eventually confide in someone who will become concerned.

When talking with the person if they've missed work, engage them not just looking at punitive measures, but asking what can be done to help and how to ensure they're OK.

Carl Albert professionals told us if someone doesn't want to talk, just let them know the door is open.

It's good to keep checking in on them to let them know there's judgment and that you're there for them.

If the situation doesn't improve, it might reach the point that the person needs to consider professional help, like at Carl Albert Mental Health Center in McAlester.

The facility offers counseling and an array of health services, including ways to connect with their providers.

So let's take care of each other because our community is better together.

• McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board

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