Mental health issues aren't something that most of us like to talk about. It's a difficult topic, and it can be hard to know how to support someone going through a mental health issue. You can make a difference in the world by showing up for your loved ones and being there for them during their time of need. So, let's talk about how to do that.
Listen + Ask Questions
One of the best things you can do for someone experiencing mental health issues is simply to listen and ask questions. Listen without judgment, without trying to fix them or their situation. Instead, ask open-ended questions that will help get them talking about how they are feeling. Let them know that you are available for them if they want to talk more about it.
Be Patient + Respectful
It takes time for people to work through their mental health issues and get back on track. Don't expect immediate results or miracles—it takes time! Be patient with your loved one as they work through things, but also remember that you should never cross boundaries when it comes to respecting their privacy and wishes. Even if your intentions are good, don't push too hard or try to force solutions upon them; give them space if needed.
Normalize + Validate Their Feelings
Another important way to show your support is by validating their feelings and helping normalize mental illness in general (if they are comfortable discussing it). Remind them that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of; instead, it's a sign of strength and courage! Showing your understanding and compassion can go a long way towards helping your loved one feel better about themselves and their situation.
Supporting those we love who experience mental health issues isn't always easy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! By listening, being patient and respectful, validating their feelings, and helping normalize the conversation around mental illness, we can make a huge difference in our loved ones' lives as they navigate this difficult journey. Let's all commit ourselves today to being an ally for those who need it most!