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- Poplar Bluff needs family shelter (4/1/23)
- A young person still resides here (3/18/23)
Mental health a must for overall health
He snarled his nose and huffed a bit as he fumbled with his worn leather wallet, slipping it back into the front pocket of his oversized jean overalls. Once upon a time, I am sure they fit, but their faded color tells me they have seen many years of good use, as has the grouchy senior standing before me.
“Would you like your receipt, sir,” said the young, bubbly cashier with a smile.
“No – why, so I can go home and look at how overpriced all this crap is nowadays,” he snapped back with a scowl as he collected his small bag of items.
The young cashier wadded up the receipt and tossed it into the garbage can next to her with a smile.
“I know what you mean sir, highway robbery my dad says — you have a merry Christmas,” said the cashier without skipping a beat.
I watched as the man’s weathered face softened, he looked down and replied in a much softer tone, “well yeah - okay, Merry Christmas to you too.”
I don’t know what this man’s circumstances were, only that his gruff tone changed with the young workers’ kind words. I tell this story in hopes of reminding readers – while it’s the most wonderful time of the year for many, it isn’t for everyone.
There are many struggling this time of year, whether it be financially, emotionally or mentally. You can’t always tell someone’s circumstance at a glance.
I recently wrote an article about an upcoming project using what was referred to as “psychological first aid” to address the emotional needs of seniors and older adults in the area.
It is well known that in our rural area we lack much needed mental health resources. As I have stated many times before, I believe it takes a village and mental health issues are no different.
As a person who has experienced the loss of someone I loved to suicide, I know mental health is imperative to overall health and depression is very real.
The programs and professionals available to those in need are great, but it takes each and every one of us taking the time to show each other compassion and respect. Be vigilant and be kind. The world desperately needs humanity to unite in these efforts.
Something as simple as a smile or a kind word can turn a stranger’s day around or give hope to someone who feels hopeless.
This holiday season, count your blessings but don’t forget to be one.
Misty DeJournett is a staff writer at the Daily American Republic. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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