Here are some simple ways to support and be there for a friend or family member who is struggling with their mental health
It’s never easy to see a loved one suffer, and can be especially hard to cope with someone struggling with a mental illness. Mental illness can also be more difficult to see than some visible disabilities, and can be harder to understand. If you want to support a friend who is struggling with mental illness, here are five ways you can help:
If someone you love has been diagnosed with a mental illness, you should educate yourself on what they’re dealing with. This will help you understand what is going on in their head. With this information, you can more confidently offer your support.
The NHS website is a reliable place to start learning about the wide range of mental illnesses.
Professionals Know Best
One thing you could do is gently encourage your friend to talk to a professional about the problems they’re experiencing. Self-care can only get you so far, and they may need some extra help. If your friend is nervous, you could offer to go with them to the appointment.
Care For Them
With many mental illnesses, it can be easy to let go of basic care. Making sure your friend is eating well, drinking water, washing themselves, and getting outside. Having these factors taken care of creates a stronger foundation for improving mental wellbeing. We have some more tips on self-care elsewhere on the Fumble website.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Always keep open an honest line of communication between the two of you. Make it clear you want to understand what they are going through, without putting yourself in their shoes.
Sometimes people can struggle with asking for help, so be there to ask if there’s anything they need, or anything you can help with. And remember – they might want to talk about it, but they might just want a distraction.
Most Importantly, Be a Good Friend
Remember, the illness does not define the person. Aim to view your friend as you always have. Sometimes a mental illness can affect someones personality. They may not find enjoyment in life, be as outgoing or up for things as they usually would be.
Understand this is the illness and your friend is still there. Reassure them that the friendship is unchanged.
For more ways to help people suffering from mental health problems, check some other places on the Fumble website: