How can we help or support someone who is struggling with their mental health?
There are millions of people who are struggling with their mental health. It's likely that you will or already have encountered someone dealing with a mental illness.
It may be difficult to know how you can approach them or help.
If you are unsure of how best to approach someone who may be struggling, these tips may help.
1. The first step is to listen without any judgment.
When we listen to someone who is sharing their struggles, we tend to give advice on what we think would be the best solution. But oftentimes, what works for us may not work for them. Although sharing our advice or trying to fix their problem may come from a place of genuine kindness, sometimes the best way to help is to just listen.
2. Ease into the conversation, gradually.
It may be that the person is not in a place to talk, and that is okay. Greeting them and extending a gentle smile and treating them with kindness can go a long way. Sometimes less is more.
3. Be mindful of your language.
You may want to avoid the following:
Assuming things about them or their situation.
Being sarcastic or making jokes about their condition.
Patronizing them or saying anything condescending.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Staying mentally well should be given the same priority as staying physically fit.
Just like physical health, mental health that is not maintained can sometimes lead to more complications such as the deterioration of an individual’s happiness, sense of self, and in very serious cases, when untreated, could lead to self-harm or even suicide.
This is why asking for help when you are struggling with your health is essential, whether mentally or physically.
Remember, asking for help is not a weakness. It shows strength. Physical and mental health should be perceived as equally important in terms of well-being. One cannot thrive without the other.
Here are simple yet powerful ways to start caring for both your physical and mental health.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how you decide to stay healthy. But as long as you are aware of your own wellness, and taking the steps to stay fit and healthy, you’re already on the right track.
Like any other health problem, someone with a mental illness needs extra love and support. You may not be able to see the illness, but it doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to help.