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Fostering mental health

Recent reports have it that cases of mental health issues are increasing. That should not be a surprise, given the current situation we are in. I can imagine that there must be quite a number of people sinking in states of frustration, disappointment, sadness, depression, self-pity and the like. This is a challenge to tackle these days.

Even during former and normal times, this mental health issue was already a big concern. Some studies show that people, especially the young ones, are very vulnerable to negative and destructive thoughts as they are provoked to have strong albeit hidden reactions of envy, insecurity, pride, conceit, vanity and the like, to things they see around, especially in the social media.

These reactions are actually dehumanizing. And what is worse is that these reactions are mainly internal and therefore difficult to acknowledge, much less, to correct. Those involved hardly talk and share their predicament with someone. Instead, they tend to rue and brood.

In that condition, those affected would be vulnerable to fall into hidden compensatory behavior, like drinking and having recourse to drugs, pornography and falling into self-abuse, etc. It would just be a matter of time before graver perversions would be committed.

While there can be medical and psychological remedies for these conditions, we should not forget that at bottom what would really give the lasting cure is taking care of people’s spiritual health. Everything starts there.

When the spiritual life is healthy, we would know how to react and behave in any situation. We would know how to properly handle the problems and difficulties that can crop up or when we are made to suffer for one reason or another. The reactions to these situations would always be marked by confidence and hope, even by peace, joy and thanksgiving.

A healthy spiritual life, of course, is when one assimilates the spirit of Christ who, being “the way, the truth and the life” for us, shows us how to handle any situation in our life, whether it be considered humanly good or bad. Not only does Christ show it to us. He lives it with us. We just have to know how to go to Christ and to identify ourselves with him in a very vital way.

This is always possible because Christ, in the first place, is always around. He is, in fact, always solicitous of our needs, constantly intervening in our lives. If our faith is strong and our piety is alive, we can easily capture this wonderful reality of our life.

We would be filled with an invincible sense of joy and peace, of hope and confidence, because we know we are never alone and that there is always someone who will take care of everything, including those that we cannot anymore take care of.

We need to realize that to foster mental health especially in these trying times, we have to take care of this fundamental need of ours to keep our spiritual life as healthy as possible. Let us help one another to achieve this.

Let’s give one another an abiding sense of Christian accompaniment so that the presence of Christ and his continuing interventions can be felt and appreciated especially by those having problems in mental health.

Let’s hope that we can see more happy and productive people these days!*

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