Hope. Loneliness. Frustration. Stress. Inadequacy. For any woman dealing with infertility and going through IVF, riding the physical and emotional can be overwhelming.
Since 1978 and the advent of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), more than eight million babies have been born as a result of this and other advanced fertility treatments. Global statistics estimate that more than 500,000 babies are born each year, providing hope for women for whom simply ‘falling pregnant’ is not a natural option.
And getting pregnant isn’t a given, even for the healthiest adult. According to both British charity Fertility Network UK and the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fertility problems affect 1 in 8 couples. Put in real terms, the average 29 to 33-year-old couple with a normal functioning reproductive system still has only a 20% chance of conceiving each month.
For Cassie Destino, founder of IVF Support UAE, and an Emirates Home Nursing wellness partner, each woman’s journey is uniquely challenging. In 2014, as a newly landed Abu Dhabi expat, she underwent two cycles herself before conceiving on the third attempt, and her personal experience was the catalyst that led to the creation of this welcoming, and well-informed fertility resource for would-be parents.
Once you’ve made the decision to undergo IVF, Cassie advises couples to take a deep breath and do their research, as she explains: “It’s very important to have informed and realistic expectations from an IVF cycle. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to ask your doctor a lot of questions and it’s a good idea to keep an IVF notebook where you can write down all your questions.
“Having a good understanding of your particular case will also help when it comes to knowing what to expect, so you can lessen the impact of any unexpected circumstances. All of this will help you feel empowered as you move through your cycle.”
She adds that knowing that things can go wrong or that something unexpected may crop up is also part of the preparation process. Cancellation of a cycle or last-minute changes are extremely discouraging but knowing that it’s a possibility is part of the coping mechanism, if and when it happens.
There’s no way around it, infertility is heartless, and Cassie says that around the world there is a stigma when it comes to acknowledging, talking about and addressing the topic.
“Many women feel ashamed that they are unable to conceive a child naturally and this certainly impacts their mental health. If a woman is already struggling with depression or anxiety, the impact of infertility can be even greater,” she says.
“Our culture tells us that a woman’s role is to get pregnant and become a mother. When this is not easily achieved, many women begin to suffer mentally and emotionally. Although there is not a lot of evidence that suggests the psychological stress can cause or exacerbate infertility, it is certainly understood that infertility can cause psychological stress.”
In recent months, Michelle Obama has spoken publicly about her struggle to have children, with both her daughters conceived through IVF treatment when she was in her mid-30s. Social media is also playing an important role in offering access to information and even support, with industry journal Fertility and Sterility reporting that
that more and more women and couples are using Internet resources, such as chat rooms, websites, blogs, and Facebook, to communicate with their doctors and other patients – helping remove some of the stigma and loneliness of infertility.
While it isn’t the job of a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) to look after emotional wellbeing during an IVF cycle, Cassie says that many doctors in the region are sensitive to the emotional hardship that having IVF brings, but as professionals their first responsibility is your medical care and the outcome.
“They have important work to do and their energy is best spent elsewhere than managing the emotional response of (often many) patients. That is why it is vital to look after your own mental health and be an advocate for yourself,” she cautions.
For anyone who has been through several unsuccessful cycles, it’s often a struggle to stay positive, but there are tools and techniques to help get you through it.
Says Cassie: “If you’ve been struggling with infertility for a long time or you have had multiple failed cycles it can feel devastating. Depending on personal circumstances it can become an emotional as well as financial burden, and that can really affect your mental health.
“It’s often a good idea to speak to a counsellor or other mental healthcare professional to develop a set of skills to help you cope with prolonged stress and anxiety. Infertility is a complex issue, and many people benefit from speaking to a third party.”
As well as ensuring that you are fully informed, educating yourself about the IVF process can also be empowering as knowing what to expect at every stage helps alleviate anxiety and fear of the unknown. It’s also worth taking time to discuss any difficult decisions or negative situations at the beginning of your journey, to help mentally prepare for both worst- and best-case scenarios.
Stress management techniques are an obvious go-to with experts recommending yoga, meditation and breathing techniques as effective tools to reduce or release stress and help build resilience as you go through IVF.
LEAN ON ME
Groups like IVF Support UAE, family members and close friends are invaluable when it comes to being there to help you through the experience, whether it’s for advice and support from other people who have been through it or simply a listening ear and warm hug.
Says Cassie: “If you feel you need further emotional support there are places where you can find it. Joining a support group of other women going through the same thing can be very helpful. Having an opportunity to talk with a group of people who understand your fears, hopes, worries, and to ask questions, can help you feel less isolated.
“It can be a really lonely journey but connecting with a friend who is going through it can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. Not only are you talking to someone you can uniquely understand but you can often get a fresh perspective on your situation. They may remind you of a question you want to ask your doctor, or suggest an acupuncturist that they found useful, or go with you to a fertility yoga class. By allowing yourself to remain social during your infertility you can help yourself to get some positivity and joy from a difficult situation.
One question often raised is how can your other mum friends offer support, especially when they may feel guilty for having children already and not know how to comfortably handle the situation?
“Most women going through infertility feel happiness and joy for their friends and relations who have a baby. But they may also feel jealously and a sense of life not being fair,” says Cassie, with complete honesty.
“There is no reason to feel guilty if you are able to have a baby, but your friend can’t. It is helpful, however, for you to be sensitive to their situation. Try not to complain about your pregnancy or your children to your friend who is struggling to conceive. And resist offering them advice if you yourself have never dealt with infertility. Chances are that anything you can think to suggest to your friend, she has already thought of. Just listen and tell them that you care about them,” she adds.
It’s not something you may even want to begin thinking about, but what if IVF doesn’t work?
It's very common for women and couples to feel an intense sense of bereavement when cycles are unsuccessful as no matter how hard you try to not build up expectations, it's completely natural to hope for the best. The common and immediate reaction is to find someone to blame, whether it’s the clinic, your doctor or yourself.
Says Cassie: “Deciding to stop fertility treatment can be a very hard decision. It may also be decided for you by factors outside of your control. If you have not been able to achieve a pregnancy or not able to afford to continue treatment, accepting that you are not able to have a baby can be heartbreaking.
“Some couples may wish to consider alternative means to create their families. Adopting or fostering children may be an option, for example. But if you have decided that you can no longer attempt to have a child then you need to make peace with that decision.”
Anger at your perceived personal failure can easily drag you down and having clear and open communication with your partner is something that Cassie says is key to being able to start to move on.
Speaking with a counsellor is also a good conduit for helping process feelings and your clinic may have a counsellor on staff or a referral who you can talk to, either for free or for a fee. They are usually specialists who have experience of working with people going through fertility treatment. They can help you truly get to the bottom of understanding – and accepting - why IVF hasn’t worked for you, which can be anything from low fertilisation rates to poor embryo quality on transfer days, or a host of other reasons.
Finding a way to be happy also involves taking time out. Book a holiday instead of going back to work and facing well-meaning but often stressful colleague situations. Find a new interest such as a hobby or activity that offers real-time distraction. And set yourself some new life goals so you can find your happiness.
There’s not a lot of downtime in the life of a busy mum. Whether you’re juggling the responsibility of a newborn or growing young family with the demands of running a home, or you’re a working mother with workplace and family commitments, it can be a challenge to manage your time – and maintain your sanity!
With a young family of her own, Sally Osman, General Manager, Emirates Home Nursing, tells it like it is. “I understand the guilt that a working mother might feel, questioning whether she is good enough at work, good enough as a mum or as a spouse.”
For Hannah Curran, Founder of plant-based nappy company, Pure Born, there isn’t one rule to fit all, as she explains: “You simply do your best, find what works for you and try not to mum guilt yourself along the way by focusing on the bigger vision - your child’s world of tomorrow.”
Planning is key to keeping life in check and that starts with a family calendar, whether it’s the shared Google/Outlook variety or a good old colour coded wall chart. We also recommend carrying a reminder journal – somewhere to jot down things for your to-do or don’t forget list, and review at the end of each day.
“Starting my day with writing everything down helps me think clearly and manage my time,” notes Sally, who also advocates setting realistic daily goals for yourself.
This one may have you rolling your eyes, but meal planning is essential for busy mums and simple tricks such as cooking double and freezing for later will easily free you up on those evenings when cooking is the last thing you want to do. Another great tip is to invest in a slow cooker for delicious one-pot meals you can come home to.
HELP AT HOME
Divide and conquer is the way forward when it comes to help with household chores, especially if you don’t have someone employed at home. Keep on top of the basics and put on a laundry load before work and put it away in the evening, rather than letting it pile up for the weekend.
Helen Farmer, founder of award-winning parenting blog, The Mothership, says: “The game-changer for me as a working mum was getting help that I really trusted. Everyone needs the peace of mind that their children are in the best possible hands so you can concentrate at work - and return to happy kids!”
Adds Sally: “This has helped me a lot. As a starting point it’s important to draw up a a list of criteria that are important to you and then schedule time to interview qualified childcare providers – and that person should be someone with extensive experience, the right qualifications and reliable references.”
It’s also great to get the kids (and your spouse!) involved at home, both to take the burden off you and as a valuable life lesson (pus it’s great pocket money incentive).
Says Sally: “I try to let go and delegate more. I’ve learnt to know when to let someone else handle a task, whether it’s a colleague at work or my husband at home, plus it’s ok to ask for help.”
The Emirates Home Nursing team is a big fan of online grocery shopping and although the UAE has been slow to catch on, one-click services such as Carrefour, Kibsons and Trolley provide a time-positive alternative to post-work or weekend trawls around packed supermarket aisles.
Says Sally: “Apart from groceries, I buy everyday necessities such as toiletries, baby essentials and even last-minute gifts online.”
Children and that cycle of birthday parties invites an endless rotation of gift buying and wrapping. Stock up by buying ahead with gifts that you know will please, and don’t forget to add wrapping paper and cards to the list. Add it to your holiday to-do list as well, as toys and other gifts ae invariably cheaper in our home countries.
Your role as an unpaid chauffeur also equates to lost hours spent running offspring between endless extra-curricular activities. If you need to pop into the dry cleaner, visit the salon or head back to the office to finish up, try and establish a ‘golden triangle’ of neighbourhood stores and services so you’re not clocking up endless mileage.
In an office setting, Sally says that limiting external distractions leads to better time management, as she explains: “In the workplace, I avoid long lunches that cut into my productivity, which allows me to focus on other tasks and leave the office on time - minus the guilt.”
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and leanin.org founder hit the nail on the head when she said that “guilt management can be just as important as time management for mothers.”
First and foremost, stop trying to be Superwoman and making things look easy or taking on too much. If you try to do everything all the time, then no-one else is going to jump in and help. It’s also important to learn to say ‘no’. Try it and see.
It’s also important to apply the same thinking – and action – to your job. Don’t guilt-trip about leaving the office at a reasonable time and set boundaries from the beginning when it comes to family.
Louise Karim, Managing Director of online recruitment company Mums@Work, is a firm believer that “emails can wait for an hour or two,” and recommends scheduling in technology downtime to be more present with the family
Helen adds: “I have been known to sit in the car outside my house and clear emails before going in - it sounds silly but at least then I'm not distracted when we're together.”
Mums can all too easily be at the whim of the family and forget to take care of themselves, so schedule in some personal time every week, whether it’s ‘booking’ a Friday morning lie-in while your partner and kids cook breakfast or escaping to the park with a blanket and book for an hour.
“It’s important to remember that you are better placed to support everyone else when you are firing on all cylinders, so take an hour out for yourself every day, or whenever you can, to do something for yourself. For me, it’s a run or heading to the gym, which then gives me the energy to get everything done in my day,” elaborates Louise.
And, perhaps most importantly, make sure you have the support network of other mums. Not just to rely on to help ferry the kids around or step in when you’re stuck with a school project, but as a forum in which to whine, cry, laugh and celebrate.
Says Louise: “As well as other mums, your husband, nanny and friends are all key to being able to balance work and family life. It’s important to communicate the demands of your workload with your network and ask for support when you need it.”
Life in a bustling metropolis such as Dubai offers plentiful opportunities to meet new people, explore different cultures and enjoy new experiences yet, for many people, living and working in a big city can also be incredibly isolating - and surprisingly lonely.
As communities have expanded from the small, neighbourhood model into geographical areas that span greater distances, traditional ties have also become stretched, whether it’s not having loved ones within easy reach for a social gathering or something as mundane as shopping for groceries in a soulless hypermarket rather than at your local family-run store.
This disconnect with people around us can cause anxiety and stress, which can lead to a sense of loneliness or isolation and can impact both our physical and mental health.
According to a recent news story in The National, more than 50% of people hide their feelings during the festive season in order to keep others happy, while a 2017 media report saw a local mental health expert suggest that around 15% of the UAE population is affected by mild depression, exacerbated by our fast-paced lives where work and achievement are a key focus and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life.
If you’ve ever felt this way, it’s reassuring to know that you are not alone.
Here, at Emirates Home Nursing, January is a time where we turn our attention to the issue of emotional self-care. We’ve all been there, so here are some of our suggestions on how to make 2019 the year of positive emotional wellbeing.
Set a daily intention (‘Today, I will make time for myself to do something I enjoy’) and work up to include some bigger long-term goals (‘By July 31st I will climb Jebel Hafeet’) to give you something to aim for and to create a ‘success moment’ to celebrate. Ramp up your positive achievements and boost your emotional health.
Tip: Keep a journal or jot down your intentions/goals in a notebook to keep you on track and as a way to review your achievements.
It may sound clichéd, but the practice of gratitude is an instant mood booster. Pick a quiet moment in the day, such as over your morning coffee or last thing at night and reflect on the good things going on in your life - past, present and future – and the positive emotions that come with them.
Tip: Make the most of the fantastic Dubai weather, go for a walk on the beach or in your favourite park and use this time to find things you are grateful for.
We all know it, but a good night’s sleep is essential for good physical and emotional health. Switch off all those devices that dominate your daily life at least one hour before bed; dim the lights, cool the room and snuggle down. Sleep is the time when our bodies release hormones that fight infection, repair cells and boost our immune system.
Tip: If you struggle to get to sleep, try a meditation/relaxation app or drift off to the sound of a favourite podcast.
Get social and expand your network outside of your work colleagues and friends by exploring other opportunities such as finding fellow enthusiasts or a new hobby through meetup.com, meeting other local people at an InterNations event (internations.org) or, if you are a solo entrepreneur or microbusiness owner, join a co-working community like impacthub.ae to meet like-minded individuals.
Tip: Joining a group to meet new people can be a little daunting and it doesn’t always click first time. Don’t make a judgment call after your first event; go back a second time, be a little more interactive and give people a chance to get to know you and vice versa.
Don’t bottle it up. If you are feeling lonely, anxious, stressed or depressed, talk it out. Friends and family are the obvious go-to, and we all have someone in our circle who is a great listener or shoulder to lean on, but the UAE is also home to a growing community of support networks staffed by caring and well-respected professionals and, in 2018, Dubai Health Authority launched its ‘Happy Lives, Healthy Communities’ strategy to focus on addressing emotional wellbeing. For professional support, we recommend checking out the wonderful teams at The Lighthouse (lighthousearabia.com), Priory Wellbeing Centre (priorygroup.ae)
Tip: If you’re not ready to go the professional route and don’t really want to chat with a family member or friend but would like to talk to someone who’s in the same boat, try Facebook or meetup.com where you can find local support groups.
For those of you who are primary carers looking after small children or a sick relative this takes its toll, and shouldering the burden alone is an acknowledged contributor to emotional and physical health issues. Consider calling on expert resources such as Emirates Home Nursing for added support to lighten the load. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours a day, this gives you a much-needed break and time to recharge.Tip: A change of scenery is a breath of fresh air for mind and body, so leave the experts in charge at home while you grab a coffee with friends, go for a head-clearing walk, sweat out your stress at an exercise class or just curl up somewhere quiet with a good book.
None of us wants to think about ageing, and especially the idea of having to rely on others, or our loved ones, to take care of our most basic physical needs; but knowing that professional support is available is incredibly reassuring. When it comes to senior care in the UAE, Emirates Home Nursing focuses on not only delivering exemplary medical support, but on building relationships with our elderly clients and their families.
According to Dubai Health Authority figures, the geriatric population in the emirate is growing as life expectancy increases, and with that comes burgeoning demand for senior care. Ahead of World Health Day on 7 April, we talk to Dr Momina Javed about the importance of seniors care in alleviating the burden on families.
“We’ve definitely seen a rise in home care support requests from Emirati and Indian families in particular, as these nationalities culturally tend to have older relatives living with them,” says Dr Javed.
“Most families are not at all phased by bringing someone into the home as it is part of the Dubai culture. It still gives them the sense that their family member is being cared for by the family, as the care takes place in the family home,” she adds. When you bring a ‘stranger’ into your home, you want to know that they will go beyond merely offering basic care and will establish a rapport with their client – you mother, father or other elderly relative – and one of the priorities for the Emirates Home Nursing team is to match the best resource with the client.
Says Dr Javed: “We allocate nurses primarily based on the case of the patient and the experience of the nurse. It’s important that the best care is delivered, so we want to assign the most qualified nurse for that individual’s care plan. This might mean assigning a nurse with experience in lifting and moving heavier patients, or experience providing care for an elderly patient suffering from a memory disorder such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.”
Professional skills ticked off, there is an equally important element in the matching of nurse to client. Says Dr Javed: “We also think about the personality of the patient and family members. Our nurses spend a lot of time with the patient, so it’s important that the personalities match on some level. Where possible, we consider personality, cultural backgrounds and language.”
The Emirates Home Nursing care team represent multiple nationalities, and with that comes language skills from Arabic to Hindi to Malayalam, with English spoken by every staff member. Another key factor is promoting independence, which means ensuring that the senior client feels as comfortable as possible at all times. “We want our elderly patients to feel supported and have a companion in their nurse,” she adds.
It’s a slightly different story when it comes to 24/7 care, with Dr Javed noting that in these situations, a rotating team of three nurses is assigned to each client. “It’s not productive to have nurses working for over 12 hours, they get tired and the quality of care is compromised so we rotate the nurses, but always deliver the same level of personalised care,” she says. Dedication is the foundation of the Emirates Home Nursing senior care offering from bedside activity to behind-the-scenes support, as Dr Javed explains: “With us, not only are they receiving the best quality of care available but they have access to a dedicated office support team.
“We have a great team of admin staff on the phones who handle all the booking requirements and changes. We also have a dedicated clinical manager who compiles an individual care plan for each senior client, and all progress notes are recorded in the same way a hospital would – on an app.”
In the event of deteriorating health and possible hospital admission, the Emirates Home Nursing team can pass on detailed medical and care records to the physicians, ensuring that everything is done to support the client even when they are out of their direct supervision.
With Dubai Health Authority also placing new impetus on engendering a culture of ‘healthy ageing’ so as to mitigate some of the issues associated with geriatric care in the future, Emirates Home Nursing is well aware of the most common conditions its clients are living with. “Within our elderly care clients, the most common issues we are dealing with are arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia/Alzheimer’s, hypertension, diabetes and loss of balance,” notes Dr Javed.
For its clients, and their relatives, the reassurance that the team’s expert levels of professional care extend across a full spectrum of life-affecting issues, is a major decision influencer when looking at potential providers.
Says Dr Javed: “When hiring our nurses, we look for individuals who have specialised in certain healthcare areas and have experience working on certain wards. With homecare for seniors in mind, we hire nurses that have worked on geriatric hospital wards or within an elderly nursing home.
“Under the term ‘geriatric’ there is a huge list of age-related healthcare issues. Dementia and Alzheimer’s can be a little more difficult to handle, and until the patient is used to the nurse it can be a little rocky establishing a relationship between the two. These diseases obviously cause huge personality shifts and it is important that the nurse not only has the physical skills of moving and handling an elderly patient, but the correct mind and skillset to handle the difficulties that come with caring for a dementia or Alzheimer’s sufferer.”
This dictates a highly personalised approach with the team creating personal care plans, tailored specifically to the senior’s ailments, with progress notes regularly recorded to ensure that the plan remains current. A dedicated GP, clinical manager and nursing supervisor manage the care plan and assigned team.
Respite care is another area where Emirates Home Nursing adds immeasurable value, allowing full-time family carers to take time out for the sake of their own health and wellbeing. Dr Javed elaborates: “Respite care can be from anything from one day to a month. It is physically and mentally draining to look after a patient or family member full time. Respite care allows the primary care giver to have that well-earned break and recharge.
“We have requests for respite care from people and families who don’t realise that that is what it’s called. It is something that should be promoted more, especially in this region.”
Emirates Home Nursing also offers support for those who may have relatives visiting, and need an extra caring hand. “Our services are not just available in the home setting, but also in and around Dubai and are mainly requested by Western expats. Promoting independence, our nurses accompany families as they explore Dubai or, if they are here for a wedding, for example, we provide a nurse to aid the senior family member, so that the rest of the family can enjoy the day confident that their loved one is cared for properly,” says Dr Javed.
And our families agree. Says a private client: ‘We have been using Emirates Nursing for several years and have found them to be professional, caring and adaptable in all respects. The admin team all take an interest in the care and welfare of their patients and their colleagues, and we have received excellent service and personal attention from the nurses right up to the general manager.
‘Their nurses are well trained and show great empathy for their patients even in the most challenging situations.’
Being Mental Wellness month, we thought we would post about an increasingly talked about topic; the link between social media and Mental Wellness. But what is Mental Wellness?
Mental Wellness is described as the ‘absence of mental illness’ and a certain level of ‘psychological well-being’ having been achieved. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realisation of their abilities, coping with the normal stressors of life, productive work and contribution to their community.”
Many claim Social media is playing a progressively more harmful role in the mental health of teens and young adults. We have all heard of ‘cyberbullying’ and ‘Facebook depression’, so how can we protect ourselves and our loved ones from these damaging outcomes?
How does social media affect our emotional health?
There are many different theories as to why and how Social Media negatively impacts on our mental wellbeing. Despite these apps being designed to keep the world connected, many teens and young adults experience isolation and undergo symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The pressure to be relevant?
Studies point towards a link in between social media and multitasking. Researchers identified a correlation between using multiple social media platforms and anxiety. It is thought that the stress of maintaining and posting on multiple social channels can cause users to experience anxiety. One can, however, point to reverse causality; are people who already suffer from anxiety more likely to use multiple social media platforms?
Are we adopting utopian goals?
Digitally enhanced images used to only appear on glamorous magazines and were of the rich and famous. Now every smartphone comes with a wide choice of filters and applications to enhance our photos before uploading them. This steady stream of unrealistic images can force users to compare their own body, lifestyle, and career to these unrealistic images. Adopting these utopian goals can leaving these users with a taste of failure. Regularly comparing your life to someone else’s is harmful and has the potential to build destructive competitiveness amongst peers.
The desire for affirmation driving addiction…
Although the medical world has not yet recognized the addiction to social media, it has become a greatly discussed topic in the health industry. Harvard University conducted a study where they recorded participant’s brain activity while they speak about themselves. This an activity that most social networking users do on a regular basis. They found that this activity stimulated the pleasure sensors of the brain. Social media, however, adds the constant craving for positive reactions to posts and pictures, the desire to grow online ‘friends’. This increases the more the platform is used.
Before FOMO was officially a thing
‘Fear of missing out’ occurs when platform users see ‘friends’ on vacations or enjoying days/nights out, giving the artificial impression of living life to the fullest. Regularly seeing these posts lead to feelings of loneliness, self-doubt and underachievement. These feelings can evolve to a ‘compare and despair attitude’. This attitude can lead to a never-ending cycle of comparing one’s life to the unrealistic expectations portrayed by users on social media.
How can we battle this?
Although the effects of social media on mental wellness may seem small, for some users are already suffering or recovering from a mental health disorder possibly brought on by social media. These effects could develop into much deeper problems.
Try to remember our five tips to balancing the social media exposure in your life;
1) Limit the number of social networks used. Only keep your profiles active on the sites that are the most relevant to your work and personal life.
2) Focus on following pages and people that really interest you. Decrease your network by only approving connections with users who have a link to you through mutual friends or common interests.
3) Use a schedule. If you don’t work on social media, silence your notifications during working hours and don’t leave your profiles open on your desktop. Social media can be a big distraction and seeing and hearing the notifications will, of course, increase the temptation to look and see what else is going on in the world
4) Be old-fashioned. Don’t allow smartphones and laptops at your family dinner table and make sure you stick to your own rules.
5) Get out there. Stop viewing the world through a small LED window. Stop having conversations through messages and emojis. Go out to explore. Speak to your friends and family in person and encourage your children to do the same.
Although awareness of mental wellness is increasing, we can all be oblivious at times and the people who are suffering can go unnoticed.
If you think you know someone might need some extra support, please encourage them to contact a professional.