Mental Health Educator Natasha A. Pierre joined Gayle Guyardo the host of the global health and wellness show Bloom to unmask mental health by going beyond the smile.

Pierre provided these pointers with Bloom viewers:

  1. Fine does not always mean “fine”. Many people mask discomfort, pain and trauma with the one word that can get people to move on. Many times, people think no one cares or that they are too busy to care. Other times, they feel that no one understands so they default to fine.
  2. Unhealthy Renaming: After people have gone some time without addressing their pain, trauma, grief, they incorporate the symptoms and rename them something they can live with. For example, “I’m a middle child”, or “I am a boss babe”, “I am an Aries.” When the reality is that rejection and trauma are at the root of their “new personality.”
  3. Effective Treatment: The root cause of mental dis-ease cannot be addressed and receive effective treatment if we aren’t honest. Going beyond the smile means taking the courageous step to say, “I’m not fine.” I need help in processing the grief, the accident, the illness. Ignoring the root cause is akin to going to a hospital for a sprained wrist, while in cardiac arrest.
  4. Reduce Stigma: When it comes to mental health, every effort is about reducing stigma. Each time to speak up. Each time we seek help, we convey the message to society that mental health issues are not the result of personal weakness but that they stem from various complex factors that require empathy, compassion and support.
  5. Next Step: Conduct a life audit. It’s important that we are honest about our pain. Is it financial, emotional, mental, social, professional, spiritual, etc.? Identify the area of the pain point, and then trace the feelings to the thoughts you have about that area, and then seek the appropriate support.