How To Support Someone With Mental Health?
Mental health is a condition which has a psychological effect on your brain. It also challenges your emotional state and your emotional wellbeing.
Usually people who have been through a great deal of trauma are the ones experiencing and living with various mental health conditions.
1 in 5 Canadians are struggling with mental health .
Mental health doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter if your rich or poor, doesn't matter what sex, age or gender you are.
Children can also be affected by mental health by the age of two.
Child anxiety is on rise, because of the pressure children seem to have placed on them especially in this generation.
Often people wonder how they can be a support to those living with mental health, especially if those closest to you are fighting these mental health battles day in and day out.
We can demonstrate our support to those with mental health through being an active listener.
Sometimes those with mental health just need a friendly ear to address all of their feelings , worries, and concerns.
It’s very important that we listen without any kind of judgement because everyone is entitled to feel how they need to feel.
Also maintain confidentiality, that person should be able to trust you no matter what except if that individual is threatening their life or thinking about it or threatening the lives of others, reach out to authorities call (911) right away so they can receive the proper medical attention they need.
Validate what it is that person is going through, don’t make them any less significant then they already may feel. Remember that their self esteem and self confidence is most likely very low.
Demonstrate how much you care by displaying empathy and compassion. Tell them that must be tough ask open ended questions such as
Why does that make you feel the way you feel?
What can I do to help you?
Have you discussed this with a counsellor?
How would you feel about going to counselling?
What are you doing for self care?
Maybe even state your own hobbies and tell them how much you enjoy exercising, or reading, and suggest ideas.
Ask them if they have any coping strategies.
Such as counting the objects in the room, or seeing if they can find their favorite colours in the room or have a favorite item that brings comfort to them such as a quilt , a snow globe to shake when they feel angry or upset or even to keep their attention focused on the snow in the globe.
You may even want to recommend spiritual practice, maybe going to church or praying, or talking with a priest.
You may even recommend that they take a course or join a group therapy session so they can get more insight and more info into what they are experiencing and find those tools to better themselves and live a life they deserve filled with purpose and value.
Ask them too about role models they have in their life and maybe spending time with people they admire most might just be the boost they need to get back some confidence.
Another simple step into supporting someone in strategizing deep breathing techniques.
Also mention about different community resources , such as calling in to the outline and reaching out to a trained professional that doesn’t know your situation. It's nice to get outside feedback and step by step support through different community resources.
It’s finding those little strategies that can really go a long way.
It’s important to have patience with those who are struggling to push through their mental health.
Believe in the person, encourage them, through compliments such as labelling how brave they are, what a warrior they are, how courageous they are. Those words can really have impacted on someone living with mental health.
Reinforcing positive words can really be motivating for people especially struggling with depression that positive word may help them to do a task that seems so simple to us but difficult for them, You know maybe they finally were able to get off the couch and shower, maybe they haven’t been able to do that in a couple days.
It’s vital to respond with kindness. We want to make sure that we are valuing and accepting those living with mental health. We want to show that there is a light at the end of such a dark tunnel.
We must tolerate the uncertainties in which they are faced day to day. Living with mental health is extremely exhausting mentally, emotional, and physically.
It takes away your energy, you may oversleep or not get enough sleep , your brain may just never turn off because you have a million thoughts running through your head day in and day out.
Be open minded with people who are struggling, imagine yourself in they're shoes. Also promote personal problem solving.
Promote hope because that leads to change.
Living with mental health takes so much strength which in turns makes you a stronger and wiser person because you have fought the fight. That is true beauty and strength all itself.
Here is a list of resources and supports for those who are living with mental health, you are not alone.
Talk Suicide Canada
Hours: Available 24/7/365 for calls; 4 PM—12 AM ET for texts; Languages: English, French