Grief and Mental Health in Singapore
I was just having a thought on mental health conditions. And because my background training is in counseling and in psychology, I thought I’d just give my few pointers about it. I know in this day and age, there are a lot of people who are suffering from huge amounts of stress and very bad times, you know, COVID-19 is not a time where you kind of like wish would have appeared, right.
So, having said that, there are people who are undergoing easier time than others, some others are going through really difficult times, like in the newspapers yesterday, or the day before, I can’t remember, there was a group of people who died in a car crash, it was a very bad accident, I think five people lost their lives. Now, whenever such a thing happens, you need to remember that the brain needs some adjustment time. And some people call it the process of grieving. Now, I don’t intend to turn this into an instructional video, you can actually search for this online, YouTube channel youtube.com/stuarttan.
And I want you to remember that there are stakeholders involved in a grief process, right. So it’s not just the person who’s the victim of the of the death, or the trauma. There are other people who are involved as well, your stakeholders would include primary stakeholders would include the family members, close friends, colleagues, even, and of course, the person who’s overseeing that difficult moment. So whenever I’m brought in, as a counselor (I happen to be a counselor and my own practice) and it’s not something that I always look forward to, to be honest, whenever I’m encountering clients, I need to make sure that I’m in the right frame of mind, and also that my time is available. And unfortunately, as a consultant, as a trainer, and someone who’s doing plenty of coaching, this amount of time is not always very dedicated. So I tend to work with people who have one or two session requirements. And anything longer than that may require a much longer period of effort. So knowing that, I could have been involved in helping people who are really in grief and undergoing some difficult moments, that takes a little bit of time to get through, right.
So think about it from the standpoint of the emotional states that you have to traverse in grief management, for example. So one of the keys would be that you begin with denial, right? If you imagine yourself having lost something like even job, you go through a very negative pushback, it’s almost as if you want to say that it didn’t happen, then after that, once you’ve come to realize a little bit of it to be accepted, then you get angry, either the people cause this to you, or at yourself, you know, for causing this to yourself, then there’s this piece of bargaining, especially for the loss of a loved one, the bargaining with God, the universe, to make them come back, you know, and unfortunately, this bottoms out into a sense of depression, a period of time where they don’t feel like doing anything, and they can’t do anything, until such a point of time where they’re willing to feel a sense of acceptance in anything. So recognizing that this, by the way, is a model that came out from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It’s not… it is a series of stages. Most people tend to follow this. But beyond this, we need to ask ourselves, so what happens after we go through the cycle? The part of accepting is not just to, in fact, we’re not just going to tell them look, you know, your loved ones have passed away. So that’s it. No, it doesn’t happen that way.
You need to go through a process of processing. That sounds a little bit awkward. But you need to process the emotions that you go through. So if let’s say you, you experienced denial, you need to know that you’re in denial, you need to know that you’re angry, and there were relevant emotions in that anger. Yes. Maybe you had a lot of regret. Right bargaining. There is this process of knowing what it feels like to be absolutely helpless. And I’ve been there before, right. So I need patients and clients to recognize that this is a very difficult phase of going through the grief cycle. Not everything is so straightforward, though, you don’t just have one clean box called denial, then you go into anger, then you go into bargaining. It bounces back and forth. And sometimes there are a lot of ruminations that take place.
Now, the good news is people who are mentally and emotionally resilient, they tend to go through this much easier. But then it also requires us to recognize that there are some people who are unable right to manage that grief effectively, and especially when they are experiencing moments of loss not just on the primary loss, but secondary loss as well. Like for example, you realize that the emotion of “Oh, I could have done better”. You traveled back in time and you wish that you hadn’t said certain things or hadn’t done certain things. These are very common. So like anyone who’s undergoing some kind of duress or some kind of trauma, don’t wait until it’s time for you to deal with it to deal with it, right? work on it, and then settle on passage of that journey, right, just work through it, it’s not going to be easy, but I strongly suggest that you work through it by finding someone whom you can speak to.
Yes, indeed, you share your thoughts, your your deepest concerns, and you find moments and opportunities for you to recover. This happens to almost everybody. But the impact has a greater or lesser impact depending on who you are, what kind of relevance of training, intellect you have, and so on and so forth. So there are so many elements I, I know that it’s important for mental health to be common focal point this time. But think about it, everybody who has gone through difficult moments in life. Also, sometimes forget that there are great moments in the past, not just going back and thinking about regrets, but thinking about moments that you can memorialize. And once you’re able to memorialize this, it becomes a solid ritual, where you can then create some kind of a new mission to move yourself forward. Because you can get this in, can get there immediately. This is something that you need to arrive at as an emergent outcome as a result of you going through these various stages.
Now, what does this do for you, it makes you more empathetic, makes you appreciate the rest of your life better. So in a sense, grieving, having had and lost would probably feel like a terrible thing. But it’s also something worth memorializing, and giving back to society. So if you’ve lost something, usually you end up being less bitter and being more willing to empathize with others who’ve experienced the same thing. So if you’re going through this flux, feel free to arrange for a conversation with me, I’ll be very happy to do that.
If you happen to be an organization seeking out ways to talk to people who are undergoing mass, you know, exits, especially when you are closing a company with something major happened or there’s a death in the organization and you need somebody to kind of like counsel or to work with these people feel free to contact me, my main mode of contact will be through the link in the form down below. So you can also use my coaching application form in order to give me some idea about the emotional challenge or trauma that you’re experiencing. Because after having worked with a variety of people dealing with traumatic situations and emergency situations, I tend to use that opportunity to kind of like ground people in their grief or in their trauma, especially when it’s very sudden when there’s a shock to their lives. So I thought I just put it out there. My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones during this period of time.
And I know the Coronavirus itself and COVID-19 is not giving up anytime soon, right? It’s already 2021 and it’s not letting off any steam. So what I’d like you to consider is that if you stay tuned to my blog, I’ll do my best to offer some thoughts about how you can help as a caregiver. Or you can help yourself as a person who’s undergoing these difficult times. My heart goes out to you and if you are finding it difficult to continue on the journey, make sure you find somebody to talk to first before you make any decision. Alright, so in the meanwhile, stay safe, stay sane, and I’d like you to continue to keep growing and keep learning and until the next video. I’ll catch you again.