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Liisa Johanson, Ülemiste Nursing Home’s mental health nurse from the Ülemiste Psychiatric Centre, explains when someone’s mental health really needs support and how to recognise these situation.

DO YOU RECOGNISE YOURSELF? That may be a sign that it’s time to see a mental health professional. Often people think that mental health problems will simply go by, but this approach is rarely effective. It may be so that you don’t necessarily need to see a psychologist, help from a mental health nurse can already get you forward. Liisa Johanson, a mental health nurse at Ülemiste Health Centre, explains what her job is and how to recognise when it’s time to see a specialist.

“Mental health nursing has gained popularity in recent years because there is a great need for such specialists. A mental health nurse is a specialist with specific skills and knowledge, whose competences include assessing health conditions and analysing health risks, counselling patients and their loved ones, and improving how they cope in everyday life, all based on the clinical study of mental health,” says Liisa Johanson, mental health nurse at Ülemiste Health Centre.

In recent times, mental health concerns are showing an upward trend. “Often when a person comes to see me, they say they feel bad. They for example experience prolonged anxiety or crying, but they don’t understand what’s happening to them,” comments Liisa. She adds that also many people with sleep problems come to see her, and that a large percentage of those who come to see her are people who don’t have mental health problems themselves, but are worried about a loved one.

In many occasions, Liisa teaches breathing techniques, gives personalised dietary and exercise advice and, if necessary, refers people to a psychologist or psychiatrist. “Often people don’t know how to breathe properly, which may seem surprising. When breathing, one should make sure that not only the chest and shoulders rise, but also the abdomen, back and sides move.” She has also found that yoga can be of great help. “Yoga is a good way to take a break from everyday life. Take 60 minutes, breathe and move. Personally, I like a more fast-paced and active style like Vinyasa yoga. Then you have that ‘workout’ feeling afterwards. All the movements into the postures are done through breathing, which I also always guide during the class.”

According to Liisa, people who suspect a mental health problem, should be honest with themselves. There are some signs that action needs to be taken and an appointment with a specialist is much needed. “Signs that indicate that it is time to see a specialist with mental health problems are, for example, the feeling of not being able to breathe, feeling fear of even death. Other symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, an overload of thoughts in the head, irritability, constant sadness, sleepiness, experiencing difficulty falling asleep, waking too early, constantly waking up at night and self-blame.

It may happen that people are no longer be able to work, socialise or take care of themselves.” Liisa says she has also seen people in very deep depressions who no longer talk to their loved ones or aren’t motivated to do anything. “This is the kind of state that occurs when people let things spiral out of control and hope that maybe it will go away. But the situation will only pass if you deal with the problem and yourself,” she adds.

Book an appointment with a mental health nurse at Ülemiste Tervisemaja by phone +37256725181 or e-mail: info@upk.ee

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If you are unable to attend the appointment or would like to reschedule, please notify us by email info@upk.ee no later than 2 working days before the appointment to receive full refund. In case of later notification you will be charged for the visit.