The topic of mental health issues seems to be spoken about far more these days than it has in the past, allowing people to open up in ways that weren’t very common in the past. Mental health issues, such as depression or bipolar disorder, have long been stigmatised, making it very difficult for those experiencing such issues to reach out for help.
Help comes in many forms – whether it’s professional, medical assistance or simply support from friends and family. Since it can be difficult to make the move to ask for help, friends and family are often concerned that they don’t know how to help. The risk of saying the wrong thing or making the situation worse is always an issue.
Here are some ways you can help and support loved ones who are struggling with mental health issues.
Encourage Them to Visit a Professional
If they haven’t yet seen a professional – whether it’s a general practitioner, a psychologist or a psychiatrist – try and encourage them to seek professional help. Sometimes, the most difficult part is not knowing what’s wrong, and speaking to a professional can help validate their experience.
Furthermore, it can also help them receive medication or other forms of treatment if they need it. Depending on the issue at hand, this may be really important and it has the potential to make a significant difference.
Make Sure They Know There’s Nothing to be Ashamed Of
Unfortunately, mental health issues are often clouded by a sense of shame and even embarrassment. People are scared to speak up and be open about their issues because there’s a negative stigma surrounded things like depression. However, sometimes the most helpful thing to hear for somebody dealing with these challenges is that it’s okay, it’s normal and there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
In fact, it’s probably far more common than many people know. It’s just that it’s not broadly spoken about as a result of negative stigma. Everybody has little quirks – they’re part of what makes us who we are. Thus, the sooner you can embrace these things, the sooner you’ll be able to be happy.
Encourage Them to Talk About It
Once again, it comes down to being open. Often, talking about things and sharing experiences can help somebody suffering from mental health challenges deal with what’s going on. Often, acknowledging that there’s an issue is the most difficult. Thus, talking is often the first step to getting help, even if it means a casual, no pressure chat over an activity you both enjoy, like New Zealand rugby betting.
Ensure That They Know They Are Loved
It’s a simple one, but arguably the most important. Sometimes, all somebody needs to hear is that they are loved, supported and they are not alone.
Dealing with issues in your own mind can make you feel isolated, scared and unsure of what to do. Therefore, if you’re able to make sure your loved one feels like you’re there for them, that you care and that they are loved and valued, it’ll go a long way to helping them.