HELPING FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE STRUGGLING

It is extremely hard to understand mental health when you haven't been through it yourself, when someone is in a low/dark place, everything said to them can be taken the wrong way, or can make them feel uncomfortable, even simply saying 'you'll be ok' can be really hard to hear when you're in a dark place because you can't seem to think anything will ever change or get better. 

The hardest part of dealing with a mental illness is not knowing what is going on inside of your head, you don't know how to talk, or who to talk too, you feel alienated and alone. The mind plays tricks and you don't know what to believe. It is extremely hard to talk and open up in case you scare/upset/offend the person you are talking too, and then it becomes real that you have a problem. It's daunting, scary and terrifying opening up about the thoughts and worries you have because you don't want to become a burden. 

To truly help someone get better you have to get to the root cause, they might not be able to tell you straight away as they probably have hidden it from themselves, but seeing a professional counsellor/therapist will help them to get to their deep rooted pain. Time, patience and support is what they will need to help them get through this difficult time.

 

Don't give up on your loved ones. Reassure them that they are not alone.

So, I have put together a list of ways you can help family and friends going through this, 

When people tell you to chill out or stop worrying, do you wish they would just shut up? 

Because if it was that easy, you'd do it, right?

WHAT TO SAY

What can I do to help right now?
Would it help if I just sat here with you?
I love you and I am always going to be here for you.
Whatever is going on I will help you get through this.
Do you want me to come over? Can I make you a cup of tea?
Are you looking for advice or would you rather I just listen?

what not to say

There's no reason to panic 
Don't stress
Everyone gets stresses it's normal
Just stop worrying and you'll feel so much better
You need to get some exercise and you'll feel better
Don't cry

TIPS TO HELP SOMEONE STRUGGLING

Send a text - check in with your friend now and again to remind them you are there and thinking of them.

1.

Listen - be a pair of non-judgmental ears. Give them space to talk where they feel safe and comfortable.

2.

Reassurance - reassuring them that you are going to help and be with them every step of the way.

3.

Support - is there anything you can do to support them e.g. Lifts, cooking, cleaning, childcare. Ask if there is anything you can help with & keeping them company. 

4.

Appointments - go with them to doctor appointments so they don't feel alone or work themselves up about going to see someone. 

5.

Mental Health - take some time to research the symptoms and experiences they are having so you have a better understanding. 

6.

LOOK AFTER YOU TOO - ensure you are looking after yourself too as you will be no use to anyone, if you are also struggling. 

7.

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