How To Support Someone Diagnosed with a Mental Health Condition
The National Institute of Mental Health states that nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Whether it’s family, friends, coworkers, or yourself, there’s a good chance you’re close to someone with one (or more) of these conditions. And, since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, now is a great opportunity to learn more about how you can help those around you.
Like physical or emotional health, maintaining mental health looks different for everyone. But supporting someone who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition doesn't have to be complex. The specifics of helping others will vary, but all those details can be summarized in two words: be there.
Be there to listen.
Listening without judgment is one of the best things you can do for someone who is struggling with mental health issues. We all experience life differently: Even if you don’t understand why someone is anxious about being in crowds, allowing them to express their concerns will help them process what they’re feeling.
Giving someone a space to feel anxious, annoyed, or any other emotion will validate their experience. Even if it only feels like a conversation to you, that validation helps people make sense of and cope with their struggles.
Be there when it’s difficult.
Patience is crucial to supporting anyone who struggles with a mental health condition. Granted, being patient is easier said than done, but it’s important not to take someone else’s experience personally. If your friend has had a stressful day and snaps at you, it’s likely because of the stress and not you.
In fact, your presence can be the calm in what feels like chaos—even if it doesn’t feel that way to you. Stick with someone through the hard times, and you’ll both feel better when things ease up again (which they always do).
Be there to help.
No matter the condition, taking the time to listen, learn, or be concerned will make a positive impact on somebody who’s struggling with their mental health. We all need help sometimes, and it feels good knowing someone is there for you.
Remember that you don't need to take on yours and everyone else's problems alone. Allow others to support you by asking for help. In fact, the team at Schneck Mental Health and Wellness is here for that reason. If you or someone you know could benefit from mental health assistance, contact us today.
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