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  • Writer's pictureDrew Harms

Supporting a Loved One Who is Struggling With Mental Health

Mental Health Help

It can be one of the hardest things in life to watch someone you love hurt or struggle with their mental health. Sometimes you might wish that you could just take all of their pain away. However, as I am sure you know by now, life doesn’t work like that. We all face challenges that can take a toll on our mental well-being. When someone you care deeply about is going through a mental health crisis, it's natural to feel concerned, uncertain, and even helpless. If someone you love is going through a hard time, here are some things that you can do to support them.

Educate Yourself

Understanding mental health conditions is the first step towards offering genuine support. Take the time to learn about your loved one's specific struggle, whether it's anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other condition. Educating yourself helps break down stigmas and misconceptions, enabling you to communicate with empathy and offer relevant assistance.

Listen Without Judgment

Listening is a powerful tool. Create a safe space for your loved one to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. Avoid giving unsolicited advice or trying to 'fix' things – sometimes, all they need is someone who genuinely listens and validates their emotions.

Be Patient: Healing Takes Time

Healing from a mental health crisis is a journey, not a destination. Patience is key. Understand that recovery can be slow and nonlinear, and setbacks are a natural part of the process. Encourage progress but refrain from rushing or pressuring your loved one.

Offer Practical Help: Small Gestures Matter

Simple acts of kindness can make a significant difference. Offer to help with everyday tasks that might seem overwhelming during a crisis – cooking a meal, walking the dog, or even accompanying them to appointments. These gestures show that you care and are willing to share the burden.

Practice Self-Care: You Matter Too

Supporting someone through a mental health crisis can be emotionally draining. Remember to take care of yourself as well. Maintain your own mental and physical well-being, engage in activities you enjoy, and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist if needed.

Respect Their Choices: Empowerment Through Autonomy

Respect your loved one's choices and decisions. While you can offer suggestions and support, the ultimate decisions about their treatment and recovery are theirs to make. Empower them to take ownership of their journey.

Supporting a loved one through a mental health crisis requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to learn. Your genuine care and understanding can make an immense difference in their journey towards healing. Remember, you don't have to navigate this path alone – therapists, support groups, and resources are available to guide you both along the way. Your connection and support with them can make an immense difference in their life.

"I get by with a little help from my friends" - The Beatles


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