Do you recognize when mental health help is needed by a friend or family member? Discover the steps you can use to help them out!
Most of us are going to experience a “dark night of the soul” at one point or another in our lives. Whether dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, or addiction, mental health struggles are far from easy to deal with, to put it mildly. Moreover, they’re even more difficult to go through alone. If you’ve seen a friend dealing with mental health troubles, you might have wondered what you can do. Here are a few examples of actionable steps you can take.
Give them the room and time to discuss the problem
It’s important to have a catch up with close friends and family members once in a while. We might be used to hearing about their woes and stresses to the point it might be easy to miss the fact that something deeper is going on. Set time aside to provide an open and non-judgemental space, and keep an eye out for signs of depression, anxiety, and other issues that you might be able to help with.
Encourage them to find help, but don’t diagnose or diminish
It’s important to encourage them to share, but specifically as much or as little as they want. You can encourage that they take active steps to address the problem, but you can’t pull them to see a doctor by the hand, nor should you try. Furthermore, it’s tempting to say things like “you might be depressed” or “I wouldn’t worry too much about it.” You’re not there to solve their problems, but to help them get through it.
Help them find treatment if they want it
If someone you love is open to treating a problem they have been living with, then you can help by showing them the options that are out there. Whether it’s therapy, a womens addiction treatment center, or something else, you can show them their options and give them time and space to choose whichever one they are comfortable with. You can even offer your support in helping them get that treatment, such as driving them to doctor appointments if they don’t feel comfortable going it alone.
Practice healthy habits alongside them
Besides the direct treatment that health care professionals are much more qualified to give than most of us, there are also likely to be lifestyle and self-care choices that their doctors will recommend. You can help support them by joining them for those activities. Whether it’s finding calming ways to deal with stress together, going to the gym together, or something else, you can very much play an active role in the healing process. This shows that you have their back, and also adds a little accountability, which means that they may be more likely to stick to it, as well.
Everyone’s mental health journey is different. You might not be able to help your friend as much or as quickly as you would like. However, with the tips above, you can make sure that you are a net positive effect on them, making the odds as best as they can be.