How To Help Someone With Mental Illness

Grayscale photo of a woman crying and suffering from a mental illness

Mental Health Teamwork

The first step is to help yourself by becoming open to the fact that mental illness is not some crazy psychological “in your head thing” caused by demonic possession or weakness; let us end the stigma that keeps many people from coming out and seeking the treatment they deserve and need. Just as how physical disorders harm the body, the same concept applies with mental illness: the mind is being rocked out of its place.

By accepting that mental illness is real and not a “weakness”, you are now ready to share your heart and mind with someone with a mental illness. Listen to them! Sometimes just listening is half the battle of helping someone defeat a mental illness. There is something magical and therapeutic by listening to someone share their symptoms: it helps them feel understood and appreciated.

Show them empathy and concern; show them that you truly care! Patients suffering from mental illness can tell when a psychiatrist is truly caring for them; it radiates like the sunshine on a warm summer day. To show empathy is to attempt to understand the emotions and suffering that someone with a mental illness is experiencing; it is stepping into their life and sharing their pain, even if it’s for a moment!

Be there for them! If it is someone close to you like a family member or a close friend, keep in contact as much as possible. When you allow someone with a mental illness to become isolated, their chances of committing suicide dramatically increases; isolation is a campground for negative and harmful thoughts. Maintaining a strong and close connection with someone suffering from a mental illness often helps them cope more efficiently and get through their illness; your presence makes a difference.

Treat others as you would like to be treated!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Sometimes It Just Takes Some Listening

Silhouette of two women listening to each other in water

Be The Shoulder To Cry On

Listening is a valuable tool that can take you a long way in your relationship with others. Sometimes people just want to be heard; speak less and listen to their complaints, desires, pain, feelings and worries.

Not properly listening to others results in misunderstood messages. The foundation of all prosperous and long-lasting relationships is to effectively listen to others; try to understand where they’re coming from so you can give them advice and suggestions that they can relate to.

Sometimes you don’t even need to give advice or suggestions; just the act of listening is therapeutic for many people. In this day in age, mental health is a rising concern and a lot of people are becoming depressed, battling an addiction or committing suicide. But you can help prevent all of this by being a shoulder to lean on; allow them to cry, complain, ventilate and fume!

I am not suggesting that you sacrifice all of your time to listen to others; your health and state of mind come first. But considering that we live in a selfish and over-competitive society, the altruistic thing you can do is to provide your undivided attention to others by listening to their struggles; you will become more confident and happy as a result, and they will become more appreciative and thankful for your services and you as a person.

After all, you never know when you might just save a life!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)