Emergency/Info Notice

Sorry but this form will not work without cookies enabled. Please adjust your browser settings to enable cookies to continue. For more information on how to do this please see ourPrivacy Information Collection Statement.

  • A warm welcome

    Situated in the heart of a thriving expat community, our school welcomes families from all over the world

    Reception Area

  • Academic success

    Delivering outstanding results at every level in our school

    Northbridge Primary Classroom

  • Helping others thrive

    Inspiring academic success & developing social, intellectual and confident children

    Northbridge International School Cambodia - LEAP

  • Be Ambitious

    We believe passionately in learning, and our modern approach continues to help our students shine

    Be Ambitious

  • Support and guidance

    We look forward to seeing you at NISC and welcome you and your family to our special community

    Northbridge International School Cambodia - LEAP

  • Stay in touch

    Have a look at what is taking place in our school and our community

    Northbridge International School Cambodia - Football

  • Get in touch

    We realise how important it is to choose the right school for your child. No question is too small.

    Northbridge International School Cambodia - LEAP

Northbridge: Why in an emergency situation, it's important to look after your mental health first

Brandon Butler
Brandon Butler (1 post) Secondary School Counsellor View Profile

When writing this first blog column for Northbridge International School Cambodia, I sat at my desk trying to come up with an appropriate example of what I wanted to communicate to you about mental health.

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Health

As I was thinking, the picture of an airplane just popped into my head. Remember airplanes? Those things we all used to use so freely. Now, recall the safety announcement?

The flight attendant would stand up in the front of the plane and demonstrate how to use an oxygen mask in case of an emergency. Remember that? It was that whole speech that you probably ignored while wondering when they would start your in-flight entertainment.

Well one of the pieces of safety information they would give would be “always put on your own oxygen mask before you put on the mask of a child you are traveling with”. This instruction is given in case there is an emergency.

I want to be clear that we are currently in a mental health emergency. When we are in a mental health emergency it is necessary to focus on your own mental health first. That is, putting on your oxygen mask first. Then once your mental health first aid has been taken care of you will be able to function out of relative stability in order to serve those around you.

So what does it mean to focus on your own mental health first?

  • Start by saying “No” - It is good and right for you to set boundaries by saying “no” to the things that you don’t actually want to do.   You don’t need to be “on” 24-7.  What is a realistic time to stop checking emails?  What time do you need to take your work hat off and leave it off?

  • It’s ok to express emotion - Find someone in your life outside of your family unit that can function as your emotional “lightning rod”.  This is a person that you feel safe discharging all of your emotional energy into, and you know that you won’t hurt that person in the process.  Who is that person for you?  Who can you call at any time?

  • Understand your unique coping mechanism -  Congratulations, you are unique!  Know what your own, unique coping mechanisms are for dealing with stress and anxiety, and use them.  If it's not working for you, stop doing it.

  • Good physical health helps mental health - I know you have heard it a thousand times but you can hear it again.  Find a way to get enough exercise for yourself.  Get enough sleep but not too much and pay attention to your eating habits during lockdown.

  • Please ask for help if you need it - As I mentioned above, we are in an unprecedented time, a worldwide mental health emergency.  Seek professional help if you need it.


Here are some local mental health resources in Phnom Penh: