As mental health warriors, we heavily rely on our support group – the people around us who help us get through the tough bouts of our mental illness. But the “getting us through” can be hard sometimes right? What are the best ways to help us when we are in the pits?
Standing beside my friends and family and holding them when they’re struggling has been the biggest honor of my life. And I so appreciate all the times they come alongside me when I’m having a hard time.
Tips on how to support
Create an open/non-judgmental space. The hardest thing is to admit when we’re struggling, and if we decide to share what we’re going through with you, we need to know that we can do that in confidence.
Let us share as much or as little as we want to. Don’t pressure us to talk about things that we aren’t ready to talk about. Just have an open ear and an open mind to what we are willing to share with you.
Don’t try to diagnose or give solutions too quickly. Unless you are a trained medical professional/counselor, don’t try to make assumptions.
Gently offer suggestions to help. Please be gentle with us, we’re in a vulnerable state.
Small things go a long way. Checking in with us, surprising us with our favorite things, showing us that you care – these things go a long way when we’re struggling.
Know your limitations. There is only so much you can do as a friend/family member. Sometimes the best help comes in the form of suggesting we get professional help. And from time to time, we need to hear it from you.
Take care of YOU. Loving and caring for someone who is struggling through a mental illness can be exhausting. I know, we are a lot to handle sometimes! The best thing you can do is make sure you are meeting your own needs so you can give the best care to us.
Thanks for loving us through all of it, fam. Your love goes a long way, and we sure appreciate it!