If you’ve ever had a family member, friend, or someone you know seek help for mental illness, you know that it’s up to them to give consent for treatment. However, there are times when the ones that we love do not want to seek help. This makes it rather difficult for us and even more concerning, as we know that seeking help is one of the best things that they can do for themselves. So, what can you do when a friend, family member, loved one, or someone you know is refusing help? Today, I’ll be writing about some tips about what you can do.
First and foremost, ensure the safety of the person who is refusing help and those around them. This is imperative in situations when they are threatening harming themselves or others. If it just so happens that they are threatening harm, call 911 immediately to get medical professioanls involved. Also, if possible, remove all things that can be used as a weapon or anything that they are threatening to use to harm themselves or others.
In situations like these, it’s a very likely that the person refusing help isn’t thinking clearly. If this is the case, you can have them call the suicide hotline, where there are professionals available to speak to you and to help. I also think it’s important to note that if you are the one who is wanting the family member/friend/loved one to seek help and they are refusing, you can call hotlines and speak to someone. I know it is very frustrating, exhausting, and worrisome and sometimes we need someone to talk to too.
I think the most important thing is to continue encouraging your friend/family member/loved one to seek help, and to also take care of yourself in the process.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.