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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Trust Is Needed Now

Who do you trust? Trust is a big issue in society today. When listening to conversations about what is happening in people’s lives, trust is questioned. Who and what can I trust? When I hear stories about who people trust, I listen with both ears open. I had the privilege of speaking to a group of 100 individuals in Wetaskiwin County Friday, March 22. The topic was honest conversations with mental health being part of the discussion. Before the activities were started, the stage was set: guidelines of no judgement, what was expressed stays within the room, and the choice to share something personal or not within group discussion. Trust was established with agreement of the guidelines. Activities had everyone engaged, laughing and stating, “I learned how to listen.” The environment was electrifying with honest conversations, sharing of thoughts and opinions and trusting the process.

Trust was important when I worked in a program that provided support and guidance for the homeless. My part was to support individuals (clients) and their family. One of the clients came to my door to tell me a story. In the middle of his story he said, “You are not buying what I am saying.” I said, “No, I am not.” He turned and left. He came back 5 minutes later and said, “I wasn’t expecting you to be honest.” To which I replied, “Get use to it.” This led to further conversations in my office. How did he know I didn’t buy what he was saying? It was because he was seeing that my facial expression and body language was not buying his story. If I had said I was buying his story, I believe he wouldn’t have had further conversations with me. Leading support group sessions with the clients, trust was one of the topics discussed. I valued their input, their stories and comments. They wanted to trust you would be honest with them.

Our daughter didn’t trust her family after we hauled her to the hospital. It took time and patience for her to trust us. The day she said, “I trust my family” my heart fluttered. What made her say this? She had a psychotic episode and was admitted to the hospital. Her sister and I were sitting with her in the psychiatric ward when a nurse came along to give her medication. She asked the question, “What is it?” The nurse told her and then she wanted to know more about the medication. The nurse was insistent on her taking the medication. She said again, “I need to know more about it as I am pregnant.” The nurse resisted this request again. I turned to the nurse and said, “She has asked for more information about the medication. She has done the research on medication due to the fact she is pregnant. I would suggest you provide her with the information she is requesting.” She turned to the nurse and said, “I trust my family.” The nurse did provide the information. Why trust at this point? She was not being heard and respected with what she was requesting. Trust came when we validated her by expecting the nurse to provide a simple request. Trust came when she needed support and validation versus ignoring her request. Yes, my daughter had a psychotic episode, but she needed to be heard when she was asking for information. Being a nurse and thorough in her research, she knew what was acceptable for her condition and she needed more information about the medication. She trusted us because we supported her request and she knew we would have her back.

Trust came other times when being told, “thank you” after having a session. The question I asked was “What are you thanking me for?” The answer was “Because you LISTENED.”

Trust!! First and foremost trust yourself, trust in your instincts, trust in what you value. Trust there are great people in the community who care and are compassionate. I am surrounded by great people who I trust. I am more than grateful for all of them. Even in the chaotic world we live in where trust is questioned, thank those in your circle of friends, family and community at large who you value and trust …. thank them for the trust you have with them.

My request to you: Who do you trust? Say thank you to them for being a trusting friend, family member or anyone who has shown you support and trust.

I will start: THANK YOU, you the reader of our newsletter and blog. I trust you are enjoying them. You are appreciated!!

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