You Could Try To Be Kind

By Andrew Younger
Andrew Younger

It never ceases to amaze me. How judgemental, unkind, and uncaring some people can be to those who fall into crisis. Especially to those in a mental health crisis, or to those who struggle daily. Sometimes its subtle: Why do you sleep so much? Why can’t you go to work? Why are you overreacting? Can’t you just let it go? Sometimes it’s less subtle. Shutting people out, not taking the time to understand their needs for a healthy life, or speaking about people behind their backs.

I’ve seen this happen to friends going through crisis. I’ve experienced it myself. When someone has a visible illness or injury, it’s often (though not always) different. People make allowances. If someone is going through a medical treatment or difficult period in their illness people help pick up the slack and support them. The same is rarely true for those who enter the crisis phase of their mental illness, or simply find themselves in mental crisis.

We have one life to life. We owe it to each other to be kind. We all have faults. None of us are perfect. There is not one of us that doesn’t have those moments in our life we wished we handled differently. And if we aren’t kind to others in their time of crisis can we really expect others to be kind to us? To support us when we need them?

Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect – and I don’t live to be – but before you start pointing fingers – make sure your hands are clean.

Bob Marley

For those who are in crisis, lack of compassion makes almost every mental health situation worse. Maybe there is something to be learned. No matter how you feel in a situation, treat everyone the way you’d hope to be treated when you are at your lowest point.