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How To Support A Loved One With A Mental Health Issue

Awareness about mental health issues has increased a lot in the past few years and the stigma around it is starting to fade. That’s good news because it means that more people are recognizing that they’re struggling and they’re seeking the help that they need. It also means that people are more willing to talk to friends and family when they’re having a problem because they’re not so worried about being judged.

How to Support a Loved One with a Mental Health Issue

We talk a lot about how to spot the signs of mental health problems and understand the causes of those issues in ourselves, but it’s also important that we know how to spot mental health problems in the people around us. Helping somebody close to you that is struggling with their mental health can be tough because you never know if you’re doing the right thing. When people are having issues with their mental health, they might not be acting like themselves and it can be hard to see somebody that you’re close to in that situation. If one of your friends or family members is experiencing mental health problems, these are some of the best things that you can do to help.

Talk To Them About Mental Health

The easiest thing that you can do is talk to them and try to get them to open up about their issues. Just talking to a friend can help them to work through some of the feelings that they’re having and it also may help them to realize that they are in need of professional help. However, it’s important that you approach it in the right way. You need to find a time when there are no distractions so you can give them your full attention. It’s also important that you don’t try to push them too much. If you sit them down and tell them that you think they have a mental health problem and they need to see a therapist, they’re likely to retreat back into themselves and shut down. Remember that you’re not a doctor so you shouldn’t be throwing a diagnosis at them.

Instead, you need to ask them open ended questions and let them share as much or as little as they want to. You should just let them know that you’ve noticed them acting a little differently lately and you’re just wondering if everything is ok.

Let Them Know That You’re Thinking About Them

People often isolate themselves when they’re struggling with their mental health, so it’s important that you let them know that you’re still thinking of them. You can’t always be there to drop in and see them, but you could send flowers and gifts or drop them a message every now and again so they know that you’re still thinking about them and you care about them, even if you can’t be there to see them. This makes such a big difference because people that are struggling with anxiety often worry that their friends and family are withdrawing from them and they don’t want to see them any more.

Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle

It’s hard to stay on top of things and live a healthy lifestyle when you’re having issues with your mental health, but eating unhealthy food and not exercising regularly can make the problem worse. That’s why you should make an effort to encourage that person to be more healthy. Invite them out for a run or to go to the gym, and cook them some healthy meals that you can drop round so you know that they’re eating well. Again, it’s important that you don’t push them too hard and tell them that they need to get out and exercise because this will make them more likely to isolate them more.

Help Them Find Resources

If you can get through to somebody and they tell you that they’re struggling and they need help, it’s important that you help them to find those resources. The best place to start is usually their doctor. Just advise them to go and see their doctor and tell them what’s been going on and they will be able to offer treatments in the form of medication and direct them to places where they can speak to a professional about it.

There are also a lot of charities out there that help people with mental health problems. They offer talking therapies for people that are struggling so you could help them get in touch with those organizations.

Helping a loved one with mental health issues is always difficult but if you try these things, you can help them to get better again.


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