It can be difficult when we are not able to wave our magic wands and make life all cupcakes and sprinkles for our people. However, there are ways that you can help. It may not seem like much, but to the person you are trying to help it can make all the difference in the world.
How can you help others?
Do not judge
Mental health issues can be difficult to understand if you have never experienced them before. Even if you have your own mental health struggles, that does not mean that your friend or family member experiences their mental state in the same way. Do not judge those around you that are struggling. There is no place for judgement when we want to help someone.
Listen to them
As I mentioned above, not everyone’s mental health struggles are the same. We need to be open to listening to others about what THEIR difficulties are. This means listening, not to find a way to solve their problems but just let them get it out. Sometimes it might involve helping them figure out what the next best steps for them are.
A great question to ask is, “Do you want me to just listen or help you solve the problem?” Then you will know what your friend or loved one is expecting from you. Again, it is our nature to want to fix things for other people. We often can’t do that, so be open to letting your people tell you what they need in that moment.
Get a better understanding of what it means to have mental health issues. It isn’t people trying to be lazy or simply get away with things. Learn what it really means to have a mental health issue. You can start here with my brief rundown. Listen to testimonies from other people who struggle. Read information from professionals who understand the disorder and how to help others (this is what you are doing right now! Go you!). The more information you have the better you can help those you love.
Thanks for being a support for those in your life!