Ways to Help a Loved One With a Mental Illness

NICOLE THOMAS Staff Writer

For people who have a mental illness, life can be emotionally difficult. They may feel frustrated and hopeless at times. Speaking from personal experience, I know I’ve felt that way before, and I’m sure others can relate. Luckily, having people who are supportive can help a lot. Here are ways that you can be supportive of friends who struggle with mental illness:

1. Sending a nice text or phone call to show you care. A simple text saying, “I hope you are doing well,” or “Stay strong,” can go a long way. It can make the person feel like he or she is loved and will know that someone cares.

2. Go and visit them. Ask them if you can come over to hang out for a bit. Sometimes people with mental illnesses may not want to go out of the house and prefer to do something low-key.

3. Ask them if they want to talk about their problems. Sometimes it can help for the person struggling with their mental health problems to talk about it with a friend. It’s OK if you don’t completely understand how your loved one feels. It can mean a lot to them by just making them feel validated and like they have someone that cares.

4. Encourage them to talk to a counselor or a psychiatrist. It’s very important to suggest to your loved one that seeking help from a counselor or a psychiatrist could be helpful. A counselor and psychiatrist are experienced with helping people with mental illnesses and can be very beneficial to the coping process.