Hope for the hopeless – how we can bring hope to those struggling with their mental health

Caseworker Jess Bramhall recently spoke to Premier’s Ian Britton about our support for vulnerable people, how to restore hope, and why you should never give up on yourself, as featured in Premier’s Youth and Children’s Work blog…

What are some of the problems people are coming to you with at City Hearts?

One of the biggest things we see is a loss of hope. And I would say that’s one of the biggest problems in today’s society. People come and they just haven’t got any vision for the future. Something’s happened to them or they’ve been through a really horrific event perhaps and having a brighter future is really hard for them to see.

How can you go about helping people?

One of the biggest things we can do is give them ways of dealing with what’s going on inside – the memories, emotions etc – because it can feel so overwhelming and they don’t know how to deal with that. The outworking can look like eating disorders, self-harm, lack of self-care, angry outbursts, smoking, drugs. But that’s just the outworking of what’s going on inside. And if we can help to find them more healthy ways of dealing with what’s going on inside them, they don’t need those crutches that are going to be harmful to them.

The other things we can help them do is get them someone to talk to. We have trained counsellors that work for our organisation, or we might refer them to another specialist service if we thought it was appropriate, because everything’s inside and it needs to come out. Sometimes they need to tell you how they’re feeling. They don’t want to necessarily fix it, they just want somebody else to know and there’s healing in that act of sharing something with another human being.

Does your own experience help you to help people today?

I probably have an empathy. I don’t know what it’s like to go through what they’ve gone through, because everybody’s story is different. But inside I know what it’s like to feel so low that you’ve given up complete hope and have no motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Even to do small things like shower becomes a massive chore.

I see it as a privilege that I’ve been there and come out the other side, because I know that sometimes they just want to be listened to. They’ll talk, and cry. And I’ll say: “I know. And I can’t make it better. I wish I could. But I can help you find a reason to get up today. And then tomorrow…”

Is there any advice you’d offer someone who is struggling today?

I’d say never give up on yourself. You might not be able to see the future. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a future. Whether you’re of faith or no faith, never give up on yourself. Make sure you’re placing people around you that are going to build you up, not push you down. If you’re struggling, ask for help. God didn’t put us on this earth to live life alone. He created us in families for a reason and whether your family is your blood family, your church family, your friendship circle, reach out, find somebody who can support you. Never keep it all to yourself.”

Read the full article at https://www.youthandchildrens.work/Read/Blog/Hope-for-the-hopeless