"With great power comes great responsibility"
Being a mWarrior is a privilege, a grand opportunity to make a positive dent in this world. It gives you a chance to wash away the age-old societal taboo surrounding mental health. It allows you to directly impact the life of your peers. So, you can understand it is a big responsibility, one to be taken seriously.
Being a mWarrior means, being there for your peer, being the best listener one can be. You are just trying to help the user walk through their emotions and difficulties. Be understanding, compassionate, respectful, and just make them feel heard. And you’ll see how you’re positively impacting their lives.
You’re not expected to solve one’s problems. You just have to motivate the user to solve their problem by providing them clarity in their thoughts. So, “Motivate, Don’t Dictate”.
#mWarriors must ace the following -
- Active Listening - It’s essential to be fully attentive to the user and be able to absorb, understand, respond, and retain what is being shared. To be an active listener, you need to be able to-
- Listen, Reflect and Suggest
- Ask the right questions (be it open-ended, clarifying, or probing as required)
- Summarize and Paraphrase
- Empathy - Empathy allows us to share not just words, but emotions too. It gives a clear picture. To be able to empathize one must be-
- Respectful and caring
- Warm and accepting
- Candid and curious
- No nuisance attitude - It’s an anonymous community to help each other, not another cyberspace to bully the weak. Thus, it’s important that we all work together to make it a safe space for all. We do not tolerate any-
- Judgement or assumption
- Insults, discrimination or bullying
- Abusive or provocative or inappropriate content
- Respect Boundaries - Boundaries are like clothing. They change with the weather/context/situation. You must maintain -
- Anonymity - Don’t share any contact or other personal details
- Confidentiality - Don’t share/ compare conversations of different users
Basic Guiding Principles
These are basic rules of thumb to make the most out of your conversations with your peers.
- Understand the user and their problems in order to know what you are dealing with. (it’s important to differentiate between simple advice seeker to SOS patient)
- Self-care is self-preservation. You must have your own oxygen mask on first.
- Respect for self and others is primary and non-negotiable.
- You are not a doormat. If you feel walked on, walk away.
- Do inform the supervisor if you face a specific user problem.
- Don’t moralize to your user.
- Don’t compare your user’s experiences.
- Don’t criticize and/ or be judgemental.
- Don’t over-help or under-help.
- Do not develop any close association with the user.
- Avoid self-blaming or any responsibility to correct the user’s problem.
- Don’t allow the user to cling to you. Make them independent in their decisions.
- Don’t try to fix people because no one is broken...no matter how much they may believe they are.
Self-Help techniques that you can refer your users to (or practice yourself) for some relief from all the pain and anxiety -
- Talking to someone is the best way of overcoming anxiety (Remember, Tokyo21 is always here for you) - Venting out always helps. And friends can always hold the ground for you when things seem to spin
- Journaling plays a very vital role in controlling your thoughts. Start writing down your thoughts. All the negative and positive thoughts you’re having. This untangles your feelings and clears your mind.
- In order to improve concentration, you can try meditation. It takes time, but if you practice it well, you will gradually get rid of your negative emotions and will gain back your concentration.
- Practicing gratitude and helping others actually is actually a way of taking action and responsibility for your own healing
- Physical exercise like walking or yoga releases endorphins and serotonin that help boost your mood and overall sense of well-being. Helps improve appetite and sleep-cycle too.
- Indulge in your creative hobbies, be it dancing, reading, or cooking. Whatever you like, whatever distracts you or gives you mental peace.
- Practice mindfulness. Becoming more aware of where you are and what you’re doing, without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
- Take small pauses in the day. Sit down peacefully and just breathe for a minute or two (Try here).