11 Ways To Help Your Loved One Who Has A Mental Illness
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Health and Wellness

11 Ways To Help Your Loved Ones Who Struggle With Their Mental Health

Take the opportunity to remind them of their small victories.

11 Ways To Help Your Loved Ones Who Struggle With Their Mental Health

When I'm particularly struggling with my mental health and the people closest to me ask how they can help, I often don't know what to tell them. Sometimes I'm just surprised that they asked. Sometimes I feel like I'm burdening them by accepting help, so my mind freezes in the hopes that not being able to come up with something and that person won't help. Sometimes I really just don't know what I need.

Whether you are someone like me and would like suggestions or someone looking to support someone you care about, here are some things you can ask for/offer/do.

1. Start the conversation 

Sometimes we can't even admit to ourselves we're struggling, so if you notice it, or even think you do, ask us.

2. Go to visit them 

This is a good way to share you care and check up on them.

3. Keep including them in things and inviting them places 

Social interaction is important, especially when someone is prone to self isolation.

4. Check in with them on regular basis to see how they are doing 

This kind of goes with starting the conversation. Often, we will not willingly express how we are doing and you may not even know that we are struggling unless you ask.

5. Listen and ask questions 

Be kind and respectful.

6. Learn about mental health 

While you can't fully understand what we are dealing with unless you've dealt with it yourself, learning about mental health can help you understand a lot more, which helps diminish the stigma.

7. Hug them 

Consent permitting!

8. Avoid comparisons 

This is a difficult one for me, as I tend to use comparisons as an attempt to relate to someone, which is okay in some situations.

Comparisons can easily turn into a way to minimize and invalidate a person's struggles. In addition, we all have different struggles and tolerances for them, so no one's experience is the same.

9. Give practical support 

Don't make promises you can't keep.

10. Notice and remind them of their small victories 

Small victories are so important.

11. Ask other loved ones to help 

Sometimes you aren't able or capable of being the only source of support for someone. It's okay to know your boundaries and reach out for additional support when you need it.

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