Mental Health Awareness Day is TODAY.

You never know what someone is going through.

—Patrick Elia, CityHeART’s YOUConnect Intern
Voices from The Hub, CityHeART Radio

By Patrick Elia, CityHeART’s YOUConnect Intern

On Mental Health Awareness Day, I’d like to highlight the vital importance of active listening. Many of us have encountered friends who prefer to be heard and understood rather than receiving immediate advice or discussing their problems in their entirety.

This tendency can leave individuals burdened with the weight of their emotions, forcing them to internalize their issues until they inevitably manifest in various, often unhealthy, ways.

For instance, some may experience sudden outbursts of anger over minor inconveniences, withdraw into isolation, spend their days in tears, or become distant in conversations. In these situations, the simple act of listening can make a world of difference.

Today, during CityHeART’s weekly Wellness Day that we offer at the Villages of Cabrillo as part of our partnership with the CSULB Nursing Program, I witnessed how offering a listening ear allowed two individuals to release their pent-up emotions, either through tears or by recognizing the positive aspects of their challenging lives.

The ability to listen, rather than immediately offering advice, proved to be a lifeline precisely when they needed it most. Throughout our interactions, we consistently heard expressions of gratitude from those we spoke to.

It’s important to underscore the significance of “listening” rather than “giving advice” because, regardless of whether someone ultimately seeks guidance or just a compassionate presence, people can always benefit from an opportunity to articulate their struggles.

Having someone actively listen can truly be a lifesaver.

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