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How to support someone with mental health issues

Mental health talk is so trendy these days, it makes me wonder if people even take it seriously. Or just talk about it to feel like part of the cool kids club. Many people are still struggling with mental health issues and have no one they can talk to. Which is shocking considering how mental health is so hot topic at the moment. But then again, I can see how difficult it can be to help someone having mental health issues. Many of us are truly helpless and have no ideas on how to reach someone who is already in a dark mental state.

 

Mental Health problem image

 

How to support someone with mental health issues

Here are some ways you could help someone dealing with mental health issues –

 

Speak with them

The first thing to do is to let the person know you are available as listening ear with no judgement. We all need someone to share our thoughts, hopes and feelings with. This is even more important when you are struggling with mental health problems. So being available for a chat would be one way to help.

 

Don’t judge

Many people rather suffer in silence than be judged by others. This is one of the main reasons why mental health sufferers don’t speak to anyone about their issues. You need to remember to listen without any judgement in other to support someone with mental health issues.

 

Get them to get help

If you can convince a mental health sufferer to speak with a doctor and get some professional advice, you may have just saved a life. Encouraging whoever is suffering to get help is the best thing you can do. It pays to stay calm and be patient as this will help more than you being pushy and anxious.

 

Help in other way you can

Apart from all the ways listed above, you can also help with general day to day activities for this person. So helping with childcare, school runs, cleaning, food shopping, company and so on will help massively. Many people struggling with depression and anxiety may struggle with day to day living, so helping when you can will help take the strain off them, and allow them focus on getting better.

 

Look after yourself

While looking out for others, make sure you look after your own wellbeing as well. It is easy to neglect our mental health while dealing with others, so make sure to check in with yourself every now ands again, to ensure you are doing great.

 

 

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6 responses

  1. Glad you have covered this topic Stella. Its vitality important. I have mental health issues including PTSD and will be on meds for life to keep me stable.

    I have learnt how to manage my mental health rather than it manage me however I am still vulnerable and fragile. Yet if you seen me and knew nothing of me you wouldn’t know.

    Thsts the problem with mental health like many hidden disabilities including physical which so many cant be seen

    Our second son has bipolar and is also in investigation for high functioning autism. Again you wouldnt know. He is extremely clever and fun. None of us see what’s going on within for anyone.

    The mental health services are so underfunded and these is barely any help out there for people. All thr cuts of the past 9 years have made it worse

  2. I would just like to add something I learned while training to be a crisis hotline counselor. When you talk to them, do not give any advice. I know you mean well but, you are not a mental health professional and your innocent advice could actually harm the person. You listen and ask gentle questions. You validate their feelings. That’s all

  3. Thank you for this information. I have family members dealing with mental health issues and I take any information I can get my hands on to help and support them. It takes patience and humility but it’s worthwhile. Thank you for mentioning the last point about not forsaking you’re own mental health. It’s important for caretakers not to neglect themselves.

    • Yes it is so easy to neglect ourselves while taking care of others. We need to remember self-care is needed. Especially when caring for anyone dealing with mental health issues.

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