Mental health disorders affect people of all ages and all walks of life. Some issues may present themselves in distinct ways while others are often kept hidden by the sufferer. If you know someone of suffering from mental health issues, pretending the problem will go away will only make things worse for both them and your relationship with them. During this time they may be at their most vulnerable point so require some love and support to help get them through a difficult time. Knowing how to support them can be the most challenging aspect of dealing with mental health in someone you care about. Some people also react negatively to mental health problems and can dismiss the feelings that someone is going through. Although it may be tough, trying to help in the best way you can, however small, can assist in alleviating inevitable struggles that come with dealing with mental health disorders.
If you know someone that is facing issues with mental health and they don’t know where to turn, you may be the first port of call when times get hard. If you’re unsure how to support people in this situation, take a look at some of the tips below to help you provide comfort to assist the person you care about.
You don’t have to show any grand gestures to prove that you are there for someone when they need you, but you do have to let them know you are there if they need you. Showing support is one of the first steps in helping people to come to terms with getting the help they, as many feel alone in their struggle with their own self-worth. If they think they are on their own, they become more distant and withdrawn from everyday situations, and this could have a severe detriment to how long it may take them to recover. Talking openly and reassuring this person will open up the option to come and talk to you but it’s also important not to push the subject or force your support on someone. Opening this channel of communication helps to bring down some initial barriers when someone wants to talk about their struggles and gives the green light that you are willing to listen to everything they have to say.
Lending an ear
After you have made the initial show of support and offer judgment-free communication, the next stage may be just offering to listen to what they have to say. People with mental health issues often find it difficult to talk to people about their own feelings and feel they will be judged or reported for anything they say. Just lending an ear can help in these circumstances, as their words and feelings are the critical factors to draw out of this communication. Once they start opening up to you about their concerns and opinions, it can be easy to fall back into the role of advisor, and this may scare them off completely. Resisting this urge to feedback straightaway or dismissing their problems will help to take conversations and actions to the next level. It also may be that your friend or a family member has asked you to keep something confidential and most of the time, you will have to honor this. Although there are certain circumstances where what they tell you may present a danger to them or others around them, seeking the help of a professional is always advised.
Determining what you can do to help them and when
If you are having open talks with your loved one about mental health issues, it may be time to ask them how you can help them resolve them. This shouldn’t be pushed upon them but can be worded in an open-ended way. Things like ‘let me know how I can support you’ or asking about assisting with a specific task just shows that you are there for them in that instance and can provide further support if they want it. During this process, it might be a great time to familiarize yourself with mental health organizations or local clinics they can go to get support when the time comes. Some health insurance providers also provide services such as Humana drug rehab coverage so getting to know what further support they could get to fight these problems can give you a head start when the time comes to get professional help.
Looking after yourself
When someone close to you has health issues whether they are physical or mental, it can be a drain on your own personal wellbeing. Although you are getting them through a tough period, making some time for yourself is vital to ensure you can give them the full support they need. If you have close friends and family that also understand the situation, ask them to help out with things at home, so you can find time to rest. If you are the only person actively supporting them, then asking for help from professionals may be an option so you can take some much-needed time for reflection and self-preservation. You can’t help someone suffering from mental health issues if yours is also on the brink of suffering from exhaustion and stress, so ensuring you get sufficient periods to yourself can help keep you focused and ensuring they have a healthier recovery.
When supporting anyone with health issues, it can be a testing time for you and everyone around you. Educating yourself and using the resources available can bring everyone through this desperate situation and back on the track to a happier and healthy mindset. No man is an island, and just like the person suffering from health issues needs you, you also need support too. Be sure to take the advice from professional and people around you and although you may experience sets backs and challenging behavior, with your support the road to recovery will be a rewarding journey for the both of you.