While you struggle to maintain your mental health, it can be difficult for loved ones to know how to support you. However, there are many ways that your family can help you with this journey to manage the highs and lows of living with mental illness together. By checking in on how you are feeling, offering you support, and staying informed about mental health, the people who care for you can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The National Alliance of Mental Illness suggests getting specific with your loved ones. You do this by asking them if they know what steps to take if your mental health gets worse. Suppose they feel unsure about what to say. In that case, the National Alliance of Mental Illness gives some great options for phrases that can be counted on as conversation starters. These suggestions include things like, “How are you doing today?” or asking how your treatment is going if you have a mental illness that a counselor or doctor is managing.
There are many ways that friends and family members can support those living with mental illness. Here are just a few ideas to get started.
Encouragement and support
Friends and family members can provide love, encouragement, and support to those with mental health concerns. One of the essential things loved ones can do is ask how they are doing. If someone is struggling with their mental health, it is beneficial to know that their wellbeing matters to you. It can help to motivate the individual and let them know that they are not alone in this journey. Acknowledging any progress made is also helpful when staying supportive.
Family members can:
Give their time
Offer encouragement for goals met
Giving a hug when needed
These are all ways to support someone with mental illness during their journey. Offering help when needed can also be important. It could be as simple as giving them a ride somewhere or helping with chores around the house.
Knowledge about mental health
Learning more about mental illness is another way family members can support their loved ones on this journey. Mental illnesses are tough to deal with but learning all you can about mental health can help you keep your loved one better.
Knowledge about medications
Some people with mental health concerns take medication to manage their symptoms. However, family members must know how the person’s medication works and what to expect when taking it. It can help you avoid questions about the medicine so that you do not pressure your loved ones or make them feel defensive towards their treatment. If your loved one does not want to discuss their medication with you, offer support for this choice and let them know you understand.
Your family member might be willing to teach you how some anxiety medication and treatments work, or they might suggest reading up on the topic to support them.
While it can be challenging to find balance when dealing with mental health issues, it is still essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, staying social, and doing what brings you joy are all excellent ways to maintain balance in your life.
Families are complex but taking care of yourself is important so that you can continue to support your loved ones with their mental health journey.
There are many other things that friends and family members can do to support their loved ones on this journey. Finding out what works best for the individual is important, and it may take time to discover what they need.
You can also:
-Avoid stereotypes and judgmental comments about mental illness.
-Make sure outing someone’s struggles will not compromise their safety or privacy.
-Talk about therapy and medication without judgment.
-Take positive steps towards inclusion and connectedness with your loved one.
Supporting someone on their mental health journey can be difficult. However, with the proper knowledge about what to expect and how to help them, you are more likely to impact the individual’s life positively. Taking care of yourself is also crucial so that you can continue to help your loved ones through this challenging time.
Friends and family members can provide love, encouragement, and support to those with mental health concerns. One of the most critical things loved ones can do is ask how they are doing. If someone is struggling with their mental health, it is constructive to know that their wellbeing matters to you.