Mental health is something far too many of us try to brush away. As a survivor of severe depression and attempted suicide, I know all too well how others ignore the issues and call them something else. When a loved one is dealing with mental illness, it’s a challenge for the whole family: parents, siblings, friends and relatives. The willingness to come to come together as a unit, accept the diagnosis, look for help, go beyond criticism, blame and judgment will not guarantee recovery, but it makes it far more likely. Denial and disapproval will only make the situation worse.
Here are my three tips you can help a family or friend during a mental health crisis.
- Become informed. Learning about the condition and embracing its truth, you can only help the healing process your loved one must go through.
- If you do not know, ask. Don’t assume. The worst thing you can do in trying to understand what is going on when someone has a mental health issue, is assume you know what is actually going on. This is where becoming informed falls in place. Take the time to learn before you try to understand anything.
- Seek counseling for yourself. Sitting down with a counselor will provide you with the tools you need to be able to assist your loved one to attain a healthy way of thinking and being. Counseling is also a safe avenue for you to share your concerns and frustrations with what you are dealing with.
It is not a simple feat to be a source of healing to a loved one in mental pain. Some days it can seem almost impossible. The process takes work and you must be just as willing as the person who has a mental health issue to follow through. Allow the tips shared in this article to be a great start to healing for all involved.