Meta description: It’s reassuring when we have someone through tough times. So, whether they are friends or family, here are five ways to support your loved one’s mental health.
Over the past few years, the mental health crisis has been a rising concern. The situation has only worsened after the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all grappling with mental health issues, and while we each have a different way of coping with our struggles, it definitely helps to have the love and support of someone close to us.
I know it’s not easy to see your loved one in pain and although you may feel worried, frustrated, and helpless, know that your understanding means everything to them.
So, what can you do to help? Let’s look at five ways to support your friend or family member with their mental health.
1. EDUCATE YOURSELF
The number one thing to do is educate yourself on mental health. If your loved one is diagnosed with a mental health condition, you can help them better by understanding more about it.
Do your research on their symptoms, causes, treatments, and myths. Learn to differentiate between the facts and the misconceptions. Your loved ones will be more open to sharing what they are going through when they know that you are actually able to understand them.
2. LISTEN ATTENTIVELY
One of the essential things you can do to help your loved ones cope with their mental health is to listen to them non-judgmentally.
Show your friend or family that you are willing to be there for them whenever they need you. Be empathetic and avoid giving them unsolicited advice. Instead of offering suggestions, validate their feelings and remind them that what they are feeling is okay.
3. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
While you may be able to offer emotional support, it is crucial for your loved one to seek professional help.
Encourage them to reach out and book an appointment with trained mental health experts and medical professionals.
You can offer to reach out to potential therapists, help book their appointment, or even go with them to their first visit (if they are comfortable).
4. OFFER PRACTICAL HELP
Regular day-to-day activities may feel overwhelming for someone struggling with their mental health.
You can show your support by helping them with everyday chores and tasks. Offer to pick up groceries or babysit their children for a few hours. You can also send them a home-cooked meal or help them with their laundry.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
I understand that supporting someone with their mental health struggles, especially a loved one, can be challenging. And it’s easy to push aside your own health when you prioritise someone else’s well-being above yours.
Remember to take care of yourself and your mental health too. To avoid burning out, set clear boundaries for what you are willing to help and continue doing activities you love. Go for a walk, read a book, cook your favourite dish, or meet up with your friends.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If someone you know is struggling with their mental health and hasn't considered professional support and treatment, encourage them to reach out to a trusted mental health practitioner.
If you, a friend, or a family member are struggling with your mental health and want to understand your problems better, feel free to ask me your questions here - https://bit.ly/3uFL7Yf.