Each and everyone one of us is responsible for our mental health. But if there is one thing for sure, that is the fact that we also have the power to influence someone else’s mental health. How we treat people around us will have certain ramifications, be it good or bad.
According to reports, in the past 30 days, 3.9% of adults struggled with serious psychological distress. But then, no matter how hard we try to help others open up so we can help them heal and improve their mental health, many are still struggling to share their issues.
Why people are scared of mental health talks
People are afraid to be stigmatized. Even with today’s technology and available resources, some people still judge others for their struggles. Because of this, many are having a hard time opening up.
Some have Anosognosia which means they have no idea of their current condition. But most people suffering from mental health issues are in denial of their condition. They believe what they feel, experience, and think is only normal. They don’t want to recognize the fact that they have an existing problem. This means seeking help and reasoning out to their loved ones that they don’t need help is a normal occurrence.
Others are simply afraid to go out of their comfort zone. They feel like they already survived for years with their condition, which makes mental health talks and treatment pointless. Some find it hard to seek help because of practical reasons. They don’t have enough money while others don’t have a solid support system even if they are willing and badly need help.
How to help a loved one improve their mental health
Know that the best thing you can offer them is your support and understanding. Allow them to discuss their issues at their own pace. Don’t judge and don’t pressure them to share more than they are comfortable sharing. Listen to what they have to say and repeat their words if needed to ensure you understood them.
Once they are ready to start improving their mental health, encourage them to start breaking out of their comfort zone. You can start with little steps, like reminding them to take self-care seriously. Encourage them to go out more and make small changes like visiting a salon for a trim. They may seem afraid of the barber scissors, but they could very well be afraid that the drastic change will be too much. Remind them that new experiences will be deliberating and that they can start with a simple trim if they are not ready to take a drastic hair cut just yet.
After going out of their comfort zone, you can start encouraging them to seek help from the pros. They are the best people who can diagnose, treat, and help your loved one better understand their condition. You can help them through their doctor’s appointment as your mere presence and willingness to drive them can be enough to give them courage.
Seeing someone you love struggle with their poor mental health can be heartbreaking. It is your job to help them the best way you could. Let them know that they are not alone and that one in four people suffer from mental health issues. Knowing the reason behind their condition and giving your full support is one way to ensure they can get back in their feet and start living life anew.