This past month we discussed many different mental health concerns as well as some shadows that people may struggle with. Today I want to give you five tips that can potentially be used to support people with any mental health illness or struggle.
- Do your research.
Find out as much as you can about what the person is going through. Understanding the situation often helps when it comes to supporting the struggling individual. Find out what it is like to be in their shoes, what symptoms to look for and what things can act as triggers and make things worse.
- Listen to them.
The best thing you can do for someone who is struggling is listen to them when they try to explain what they are going through. There is no one better to tell you what its like to deal with this situation then the person going through it firsthand. Do not assume you know what they are going through, because the chances are…. you don’t.
- Be there for them.
Find out what you can do to support them, whether it means researching or even better, asking them specifically. Every situation is different. Make sure they know that they do not have to walk through this alone, and that you will be there for them every step of the way.
- Ask questions, but don’t be pushy.
It is human nature to be curious and want to understand what is going on with someone else. Make sure you ask them if they are willing to talk about it, and if so be as direct and honest as possible but make sure you are not being rude. Once you have asked your question, move on. Do not allow every conversation you have with them to focus on what they are struggling with as it can be discouraging.
- Let them know you love them.
Let the person know that no matter what happens, you will always love them. It is very easy for someone who is going through a new diagnosis to believe that the people around them will treat them differently or stop loving them. Remind them that nothing they say or do will change the fact that you love them, and that you are there for them.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, student, daughter and friend. She’s working on her Marketing Diploma and has a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.