Do you want to support someone who is affected by mental health issues? Then we’ve put together some advice on how to go about it.
Begin by listening
Simply listening is a good place start in supporting someone with mental health issues. If the person concerned opens up about their problems, then let them talk. Don’t be tempted to change the subject or to interrupt. Keep their counsel and respect their privacy, unless you feel they are in immediate danger, then seek the help of a professional.
If it is an emergency and you need help straight away then go to an A & E department or call 999. If you or the person you are assisting need support, then call the Samaritans on their free phone number: 116 123.
Demonstrate your support
Whether it is friend or family member, demonstrate that you are there to support them, so they understand they can talk openly with you and need not feel isolated. Do express your concern, support, and empathy for them. If you’re not sure how to strike up a conversation about such a sensitive subject, there is lots of advice online.
Anything you can do to help?
Ask if there is anything you can do to help. It might be that practical help with every day tasks would be appreciated, like lifts to appointments or assistance with paperwork. But don’t be overbearing or pushy if your assistance is declined.
That favourite wartime maxim, ‘keep calm and carry on’ is very helpful here. If you can remain calm, those around you are more likely to as well, and you’re more likely to be of help too.
Patience is a virtue
Be patient and not pushy. Rome really wasn’t built in a day, so allow your loved one to take things at their own pace. If someone is over 18 and not an immediate threat to themselves or anyone else, you can’t force them to get help.
Don’t assume you understand or know everything about your loved one’s feelings, issues or the cause of their problems. However well you know someone, you won’t know the whole story. Certainly, don’t assume you know what’s best for them.
If you know someone who is experiencing mental health issues, then continue to include them in social events and keep up normal social interactions as much as possible. But again do it gently don’t be too strident or overbearing. Exclusion from everyday social situations could result in isolation, and that could exacerbate any issues being experienced.
Educate yourself and learn more about the condition with which your friend or family member has been diagnosed. The website of mental health charity Mind is a good place to start.
So there you have a few ways to approach helping someone who has mental health issues, e help you’ve found it helpful.
If you are calm under pressure, sympathetic and capable, have you considered a career in social care? If you think you might be interested in care home jobs Birmingham, then contact Employ Social Care, they are always on the lookout for conscientious and proficient carers to join their ranks.