If you know someone struggling with their mental health, you may feel helpless at first, but there are lots of things you can do. Find out how you can help and support them.
Most of us know a friend, colleague or family member who has struggled with their mental health, you may have even suffered yourself.
If you know someone who is having mental health issues, here are some things you can do to help.
Let them know you are worried about them and you are there to help them if they want it. They may not want to speak at first, so you may need to just be available to them to talk to begin with.
When someone acknowledges their feelings or talks about a situation for the first time it can be a big step. It may also make them feel vulnerable and emotional, so reassure them that you are there for them.
It’s human nature to want to fix problems, especially for those we care for. The important thing is to not try and fix the person, not to give advice or “You should/could do this”. Most people just need someone to listen at first. Ask broad questions and let them do the talking, but have knowledge of some resources if the time is right to bring them up.
Don’t change your behaviour towards whomever you are trying to help, it can make them feel like a burden. Regular activity and communication is key to helping.
It may take a while for the person to open up to you, even then you may only get some details. Don’t pressure them for more information, let them do it in their own time.
If they do not want support
This can lead to frustration, but the key is to be patient and understanding. By being supportive you can help lead them to the right support.
Look after yourself
Remember it is important to look after yourself, you are also allowed to feel down about the situation. Talking to a third party or here on WarriorKind can be helpful if you need help to understand the situation yourself.