Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How To Be Supportive To A Friend Or Family Member With Mental Health Problems

No one is unsusceptible to experiencing mental health problems. In fact, anyone can suffer from a mental health ailment.  According to Mental Health America, an estimated 54 million Americans suffer from some form of mental disorder in a given year.

Fortunately, a supportive network of family and friends can make all the difference in an individual’s recovery process. You can help your friend or family member by talking with him or her about mental health problems and allowing your loved one to feel open and comfortable speaking about their mental health.

How to Talk About Mental Health

How do you begin a beneficial discussion about mental health? Try leading with these questions and make certain to actively listen to your friend or family member’s response.
    I am worried about you. Would you like to talk about what you are experiencing? If not, whom are you most comfortable speaking to?
    What can I do to help you to openly speak about issues with your parents or someone else who is responsible and cares for you?
    I am somebody who cares and wants to listen. What would you like me to know about how you are feeling?
    Who or what has aided you in coping with similar problems in the past?
    Sometimes talking to someone who has dealt with a similar experience helps.
    Do you know of any individuals who have experienced similar types of problems who you can speak with?
    It is apparent that you are experiencing a difficult time in your life. How can I help you to acquire help?
    What can I do to assist you in finding more information about mental health problems?

When speaking about mental health problems:
    Understand how to connect your loved one to help.
    Communicate your purpose in a straightforward manner.
    Discuss the subject in a space where your loved one feels safe, and at a time that he or she feels safe.
    Pay attention to reactions during the discussion and back up or slow down if the person looks upset or becomes confused.

Make a comparison
It may be helpful to make a comparison to a physical illness. For instance, many individuals may become sick with a cold, however only a few catch something serious like diabetes. Individual who have a cold are often able to participate in their daily activities. However, if they get diabetes, they will have to see a doctor and take medicine.
Furthermore, feelings of anxiety, worry, sadness, anger, or sleep problems are common for most individuals. However, when these feelings last for a long time, become very intense, and begin to interfere with work, school, and relationships it may be a sign of a mental health ailment. Similarly to individuals who need to get professional help and take medicine for physical problems, someone with a mental health problem may need to participate in therapy and/or take medicine to recover.
 It is crucial to feel comfortable talking about your mental health to your family and friends. Capitol Care, a leader in mental health services, offers many support groups where individuals can feel comfortable and open speaking about their mental health. Call Capitol Care for a confidential discussion. (205) 956-2000.

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