How do I help a friend, family member, someone I know, who I believe may have a mental health problem?

3 Answers
Last Updated: 08/21/2018 at 2:53am
1 Tip to Feel Better
January 6th, 2018 4:48am
Be open, but be prepared that they may not be. Mental illness is not easily assumed, but there are definite red flags that you may have noticed that have concerned you for your friend. Don't make a statement about those red flags when you approach the conversation. Always be an ear. Empathize Ask Respond An ear listens instead of talking, and responds instead of rebutting. Start off with an empathy statement that asks them how they are doing. ex. "Hey, are you feeling okay lately? I know this time of year always gets me down." Ask open-ended questions without making assumptions. ex.: "How have your classes been going?" instead of "You have so many classes right now, that's so overwhelming!?" Respond without interrupting. ex.: "I hear you.", "I understand.", "I would feel the same.", "That makes sense." If your friend confides in you, offer your support and guidance. Never assume they want you to reach out to help on their behalf. Just ask. If they aren't ready, be a friend and not an enforcer. Healing happens at an individual pace.
April 23rd, 2018 5:29pm
First, remember, you are not responsible for that persons recovery. It’s not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s ilness. And if you don’t take care of yourself, it can wear you down. Be sure to emotinaly shield yourself. That said, being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You are not a therapist, and despite your best intentions, you are not qualified to be giving meaningful advice, this might even be dangerous. You don’t have to try to “fix” the person; you just have to be a good listener, encourag them to seek help and give unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. Also, Instead of guessing what helps: ask. Listen. Be patient. Be kind. Good Luck.
August 21st, 2018 2:53am
The best thing to do is to get them professional help. Talk to a guidance counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional about what is going on with them so you can make a plan to get them the help they need. If the person suffering from the mental health problem is hesitant on getting help right away, let them know that you have their best interest at heart, but you don’t want to force them into anything. Don’t make them feel trapped, make them feel as comfortable as possible so that they can share how they feel with you.