How To Help Someone With Mental Health Issues?
We will all experience some sort of mental health issue at some point in our lives. When we do go through them, however, we want to help and want to help others. However, we are sometimes unaware of who is in need. When someone in our lives is going through a difficult time, we want to do everything in our power to ensure that person is happy and healthy. This could encompass a friend, family member, colleague, or even someone you’ve met online. Regardless of the circumstances, our innate inclination is to lend a hand to those who require assistance. In this article, I will delve into mental health challenges and explore ways to assist individuals facing them.
Is There Any Way to Tell if Someone Has a Mental Health Issue?
Everyone encounters daily challenges in their lives, and it’s a fact that some individuals seem to be grappling with more significant difficulties than others. Life operates in such a way. Consequently, while it may occasionally be evident who is facing hardships, most often it remains concealed. Those we care about deeply are often the ones who are enduring the most profound struggles in their daily lives. This is a reality, and at times, these are the individuals who require the greatest support. However, it’s crucial to maintain an awareness of and curiosity about the people within our circles. Therefore, if you find yourself uncertain about someone’s situation, it’s best not to attempt to diagnose them. Such actions could potentially exacerbate their challenges.
Keep in mind that identifying a mental health concern isn’t always straightforward when evaluating someone. The manifestations of individuals facing such challenges can differ significantly from one person to another. Just because someone you are acquainted with exhibits a symptom, it doesn’t automatically indicate they have a mental disorder. Therefore, exercise caution and sensitivity in your actions.
In every individual with a particular condition, one or more symptoms may manifest. However, how people in the vicinity of someone experiencing these symptoms react can differ greatly. There is no uniform response when it comes to how people respond to illness or symptoms; it varies from person to person. However, if you are close to someone, it is easier to tell if they are in pain. For example, if there is a change in mood or a decrease in desire.
If you’re interested in exploring a range of mental health conditions that can arise, I’ve provided a link to an article that discusses various health-related subjects.
What Might I Do for Someone Who’s Suffering?
There are several ways to provide assistance to those you hold dear in terms of mental well-being, but the most essential element is having a conversation. If you’re unable to discuss your own struggles, how can you effectively aid someone else with theirs?
At times, we become concerned about those in our proximity, especially when we notice a shift in their behavior. In such situations, it’s advisable to initiate a conversation with the individual you’re worried about. I understand that beginning this dialogue can be daunting, but the most crucial moment to provide assistance is now. Waiting can lead to a deterioration in the situation. Therefore, take the initiative to speak with them and inquire if they require any support. However, when you start talking to them, show compassion and love. Never criticize or judge them. That will aggravate the situation, and that person will most likely lose faith in you.
Prioritize open communication with the individual you aim to assist before taking any other action. This approach will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of their situation and subsequently determine the best way to provide support. However, it’s essential to recognize that there are instances when some individuals may not be willing to engage in conversation or accept your assistance. In such situations, consider speaking with someone close to them or allowing them some space to regain their composure. It’s crucial never to pressure someone into discussing their circumstances if they’re not ready.
How to Have a Conversation About Mental Health?
I’ve discussed ways to assist someone in the present, but how do we initiate a discussion about mental health, especially considering that many people view this topic as delicate? I’ve offered some guidance on broaching this subject, emphasizing the need for thoughtful and cautious communication.
1. Make Sure It’s A Distraction-Free Zone: When engaging in a conversation with someone, please reduce disruptions, such as your phone, television, music, or the presence of other individuals. This way, you can ensure that the person you’re talking to receives your undivided attention.
2. Let Them Lead The Discussion: Allow the other person to initiate the conversation when you’re in dialogue with them. Granting them the freedom to speak at their own pace and about topics that interest them fosters trust. Avoid attempting to impose your own agenda on them, as this may convey the impression of pressure rather than genuine assistance. Therefore, it’s crucial to proceed with care and sensitivity.
3. Never Judge or Criticize: Avoid passing judgments or providing criticism when someone is confiding in you about something significant. Such actions can erode trust and potentially worsen their emotional state if they perceive that you’re simply criticizing or condemning them based on their words.
4. Never Diagnose: When engaging in a light-hearted conversation with someone, remember that you’re not an expert, and attempting to diagnose or provide solutions may not be helpful. It’s best to refrain from doing so unless the person explicitly seeks your opinion. They came to you for a particular reason, so all you need to do is offer your presence and support.
5. Ask Questions: When you ask questions, it demonstrates your concern. However, it’s important to ask questions carefully. Instead of asking why or how someone did something, you can inquire about how they felt in particular situations. Avoid overwhelming people with a barrage of questions all at once, and allow them ample time to respond.
6. Listen Carefully and Only Speak When Needed: Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and they began to interfere or seemed disinterested? How did that make you feel? It likely made you feel quite unpleasant. Therefore, it’s important to be attentive when you’re conversing with someone and to speak only when necessary. If someone says something during the conversation that you find unclear, politely request clarification by rephrasing your question. You don’t always have to agree with their viewpoint, but showing respect by actively listening is a positive first step.
7. Have Standards: When someone reaches out for your assistance, it signifies a serious matter. Hence, if they begin behaving strangely or utter things that leave you feeling uneasy during your conversation with them, it’s important to take action and report it. Reporting ensures their safety and well-being are prioritized.
Now that you’ve learned how to offer assistance, what’s next? Remember that helping someone is a process that takes time, and not everyone may desire your help. In such cases, it’s crucial to respect their wishes and give them space. If they choose to open up to you, it will likely be a challenging and courageous step for them.
How to Assist Someone Who Is in Trouble?
Some of you might not be aware, but individuals dealing with mental illnesses can be vulnerable at times, including experiencing thoughts of suicide as their only option. It’s important to understand that they need help and that their mental state is significantly compromised during such moments. When faced with this situation, you may feel unsure of what steps to take or even perceive a potential threat. Here are some guidelines on how to support someone you suspect is in distress.
- Listen to them without judging or criticizing them.
- Ask if they need anything.
- Be respectful and show compassion.
- Don’t confront.
- Report if you believe they’re in danger.
- Ask if they require you to contact someone.
When an individual is going through a difficult time, their thoughts and perceptions often diverge significantly from those of people around them. This divergence can lead to the experience of unfamiliar and challenging emotions. In such moments, it’s essential to offer them reassurance about their unique and wonderful qualities. Be a supportive presence and acknowledge their emotions.
Suicide is a Serious Matter.
Assume you’re talking to someone about suicide or seeing something about it on social media. This is the point at which you should encourage them to seek help. Either by consulting a therapist or contacting the police. If they refuse, I recommend that you contact them. All I can say is that they must seek assistance as soon as possible.
If you suspect someone is in a precarious situation, do your best to provide assistance in any way possible. Attempt to establish contact with them and convey your genuine concern. In my experience, some individuals merely seek someone to converse with, devoid of any judgment. This act of listening can make a substantial difference. Admittedly, it can be challenging, particularly when you are facing your own set of challenges.
It’s crucial to take all necessary steps to assist someone if you suspect they are in a perilous situation. Consider initiating a conversation with them and demonstrating your care by extending a helping hand. Based on my experience, I’ve found that some individuals simply seek a non-judgmental person to confide in, and this can make a substantial positive impact. It can indeed be challenging, especially if you are also facing difficulties of your own.
If you know anyone who feels isolated and doesn’t know where to turn. I recommend that you sign up for and use the 7 Cups of Tea app. They are here to assist anyone who is struggling or in need of support.
In The End.
Ultimately, we all have people in our lives whom we deeply care about and would go to great lengths to help. Therefore, if you notice someone you care about is facing difficulties, it’s advisable to offer your assistance. However, it’s crucial to approach them with kindness, empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude when engaging in conversations. This will convey to them that they can rely on you in any situation. Nevertheless, if someone opts not to engage in conversation with you for any reason, it’s essential to respect their choice.
When conversing with someone and if you have any suspicion that they may be contemplating suicide, it’s essential to take every necessary measure to ensure their safety, which may include contacting the police. They have resources and expertise that can surpass your own in such situations. Safeguarding individuals with mental health challenges should be your utmost priority.
Feel free to use the comments section below to inquire about any concerns or questions you might have regarding aiding someone dealing with mental health issues. I am more than happy to provide assistance, drawing from my extensive experience in this field.
Related: What is a Mental Health Issue?