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How Can I Help a Loved One With Their Mental Health?

When someone you care for is struggling with their mental health, it’s easy to feel helpless. Your instinct is to do whatever you can to help, but you might not be sure how to support them. It might help to know that when someone is facing mental health challenges, they simply need extra love and care, similarly to those suffering from a physical condition.

What Are the Best Ways I Can Be Supportive?

For a person facing mental health challenges, receiving support from family and friends can make all the difference. You may feel frustrated by the difficulty in finding ways to be supportive, but it’s not impossible. There are some strategies you can implement that will put you in a strong position to be empathetic and understanding.

Educate Yourself

The more you know about what your loved one is going through, the better you’ll be able to give them the support they need. When you can arm yourself with knowledge, you will reduce any stigmas, fears, or misconceptions you might have. Educating yourself will allow you to be more understanding and more easily realize ways you can help.

Open the Lines of Communication

One of the best ways you can support a loved one is to let them know that you are there for them and available to listen. They may be feeling alone and embarrassed. Allow them to talk without interruption or unsolicited advice. Validate their feelings and remind them that it’s okay to experience negative emotions.

If you are unsure how to start a conversation about mental health, there are some steps you can follow to make things easier.

Do’s and Don’ts

Sometimes people struggling with mental health issues don’t know what kind of support they need. The person might be feeling so overwhelmed that they can’t think clearly about what might help them feel better. If that is the case, you may have to find general ways to show support. These can include the following:

There are some things that you may be tempted to do that will not be helpful to either you or your loved one. Try to avoid these common pitfalls:

Finding Professional Support and Resources

You may be in a unique position to encourage your loved one to seek help from a mental health professional. If their mental health symptoms are impairing their ability to fulfill their obligations and enjoy life, it may be time to reach out to a doctor or other medical professional. At the same time, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Your mental health is important and you may need some extra support, too. Mental health challenges can be draining for everyone involved.

At Sage Recovery, we understand that mental health challenges are complicated and the effects are not limited to the person who is struggling. This is why we believe in offering a range of services for the whole family. This includes individual counseling as well as counseling for couples and families. Our individualized treatment programs implement holistic and trauma-informed care. With our compassionate approach, wealth of knowledge, and wide array of resources, we can help you and your loved one face any challenge.

Watching a friend or loved one struggle with a mental health challenge can be difficult. You may not know exactly what to say or do to show them that you care. At Sage Recovery, we understand that you may need to get support for your loved one, but you might also need some support. We strive to help our clients maintain mental wellness by helping them learn new coping and mindfulness skills. We combine a wide variety of tools and resources to create an individualized treatment plan designed to help you or your loved one achieve peace and balance. Call us at (512) 306-1394 for more information on how we can help you and the people you hold dear.