How to Support a Relative or Friend Who is Suffering from Mental Illness *

How to Support a Relative or Friend Who is Suffering from Mental Illness *

Did you know that over 19% of adults in the USA suffered from mental illness in 2018? That equates to around one in five adults. This shows mental illness is fairly common and that you can almost be certain that at least one of your friends or relatives is facing up to the struggle of managing or overcoming some kind of problem. The question is, what can you do to help them on their journey to recovery? Here are some tips.

Talk About It

There is still a sense of taboo when it comes to mental illness, despite it being so widespread. As such, people who have been diagnosed with a mental health problem may feel embarrassed talking about it. Show your friend or relative that you are happy to speak about anything regarding the topic and that you are there to listen without judgment. Start the conversation when there are minimal distractions around, and don’t try to force the individual to share any more than he or she feels comfortable with.

Know How to Respond in an Emergency

Mental illness often brings with it personal crises for the sufferer. These crises may present in the form of a panic attack or suicidal thoughts. Either way, it is important to be prepared to deal with such a situation calmly and proactively. In a crisis situation, you should always strive to avoid panicking and take action by asking the person how you can assist them.

Avoid confrontation and, once again, listen without making judgments or jumping to conclusions. It also helps to have important contact details on hand so that you can get in touch with the people who matter most during these times, such as the individual’s parents or anyone from their support network.

Assist Them in Seeking Out the Right Support

It is important for the individual to get the right support not only for the type of mental illness that they have, but also in terms of the specific stage of their life they are in. For example, teenagers who are suffering from mental health issues should seek help at a teen-specific facility, such as Ignite Teen Treatment. This allows for a tailored approach to treatment.

Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

It can prove very difficult to remedy mental health problems if the individual is not taking proper care of their physical health. Both are closely connected and they share a symbiotic relationship to a large extent. Therefore, do your best to help encourage and support them in leading a healthy lifestyle, such as maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Be sure to set a good example by following a healthy lifestyle yourself.

More than anything else, make an effort to always be kind. The road to recovery from a mental illness is anything but easy. Your support and words of encouragement are sure to go a long way towards helping someone rise above whatever disorder they may have.

* This is a contributed post and may contain affiliate links

suzyMiller

Creator of Best Way To Divorce. International Divorce Divorce Strategist and TEDx Speaker.
Member since:
6th March 2022
Last Login:
16th May 2024

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