During a lifetime, it’s very likely that you or someone you know will have some kind of struggle with their mental health. So when you notice that someone close to you is having a difficult time with their mental or emotional health, you may want to offer them support in any way you can.
To help you in doing this, here are three tips for supporting someone struggling with their mental health.
Seek To Validate Their Thoughts And Feelings
When someone is having a hard time, the last thing they want to hear from someone they care about is what they could be doing differently to make things better for themselves. Sometimes, there really is nothing that can be done besides seeking professional mental health help. But something that you can do is validate them and their feelings rather than trying to fix things for them.
All it takes to do this is to think before you speak. If you’re wanting to know more about what’s going on and how they’re feeling, ask them open-ended questions. And when they respond, don’t second-guess what they say they’re feeling or what’s going on in their mind. Listen carefully to what they’re saying and repeat back what they’re saying while you express how difficult this must be for them. By communicating with them in these ways, you can help to validate their feelings.
Offer Help With Daily Tasks
When someone is having issues with their mental health, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to really help them. But once you realize that mental health problems can bleed into so many areas of their daily life, you’ll quickly find ways that you can offer to help with many of their daily tasks.
Doing things like going grocery shopping for them, helping to clean their home, picking up their medications, going to appointments with them, caring for their kids, and more can be an immense help when these aren’t things that they have the capacity to do by themselves at this time.
Schedule Regular Check-Ins
While you might not feel like you know exactly what to say or how to help when a loved one is struggling with their mental health, just being there for them consistently can be enough.
To make sure that you’re doing this, consider scheduling regular check-ins with them. You can do things like calling them on certain days during the week, visiting them on the weekends, bringing them a meal on a regular basis, and more. Knowing that they’re not forgotten about or too overwhelming for you to keep up with may be just what they need from you.
If you know someone who’s having a hard time with their mental health right now, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you know how you can be of help to them.