Society commonly concludes that someone is depressed when he or she is sad or has mood swings often. When someone is continuously frightened or does anything out of the ordinary,they are labelled to have mental health issues. However, what exactly are those issues? What are some of the examples of mental health issues? How can we approach someone and offer him or her appropriate assistance? According to Emelienne Mukansoro, a psychotherapist at Never Again Rwanda (NAR), there are three major mental disorders; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Someone suffering from this is likely to exhibit one or more of the following symptoms; A persistent reflection of memories that come in the form of nightmares and frequent thoughts, which make it difficult to go about their regular lives. Shying or fleeing from a place or item, like a machete, knives, farming tools, or any other weapons that remind them of a painful or traumatic experience in the past. Constant terror, self-hate, solitude, or a preoccupation with horrific events that have occurred and the fear that they will occur again. Anxiety: Extreme concern and uneasiness over the possibility of bad things happening, such as a family tragedy, illness, or job loss. Feeling resentful of everything, having suicidal thoughts, and even attempting suicide in some circumstances. Self-isolation or a major increase or decrease in one’s eating habits. Depression: Negative thoughts and feelings, extreme exhaustion, alcohol cravings, and drug abuse, to name a few, are all signs that a person is depressed. In order to recognise such behaviours in ourselves or others, it is crucial to remember that everyone is different and may display these signs in a different way than someone else. Therefore, if we try to help a relative, a friend, co-worker, or a loved one, it is okay to recognise that one approach may not work for one person but may work for another. According to Mukansoro, the following are some tips on how to approach someone dealing with the stated issues, but they are not exhaustive; Pay attention to what they say: allow one to open up to you in a safe and non-judgmental space. There should be no interruptions like phone calls, crying children, noise, music, etc. Do not exert any pressure: allow them to share as much as they want, but do not ask for more until they are ready, and do not be embarrassed by what they say. Let them lead the discussion at their own pace. Dont solve their problems: Do not try to diagnose them or their feelings with your own conclusions or solutions. Suggest professional support: It has to be their choice. If they agree, you can start the process by giving them information or making phone contact with a therapist on their behalf, or even escorting them on their first visit. Mental health problems are common, especially today, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that has significantly affected our lives, causing many to be stressed and overwhelmed. Mukansoro suggests adding physical exercise to one’s routine as it can help stimulate the brain and allow one to work on or let out their emotions, which can prevent, ease, or help overcome mental health illnesses. She also encourages resting, traveling, singing, dancing, painting, journaling, cattle grazing (cows or goats), visiting friends and family/socialising, and/or playing games as great examples of ways to unwind. To seek help, someone must first recognise that he or she has a problem that needs to be addressed, as well as the willingness to seek support and to know where to look for it. A family member, professional counsellor/therapist, and/or any other close person may intervene if needed. Institutions such as NAR are committed to contributing to the mental health wellness of the Rwandan population. They offer group and individual therapy through a team of psychotherapists working across the country, who are always available to provide free professional mental health and psychosocial care services to anyone who needs it. They offer both virtual and in-person counselling, and a physical wellness centre is slated to open in December 2021. Visit their online wellness site https://wellness.neveragainrwanda.org/ for support.