Five ways you can help someone struggling with their mental health

Is someone in your life going through a hard time?

When someone you love and care about is struggling, it can be difficult to know what to do. Sometimes, no matter how much we want to help, we get it wrong. When someone is struggling with their mental health, it is important to give them the help they need. Otherwise, you risk making them feel as though they are alone and misunderstood. Instead of giving them unsolicited advice and telling them what they ought to do to get better, listen to them and find out what they need.

There are 5 things you need to know if you want to help someone who is struggling.

1. You should not force them to talk

Not knowing what your partner, friend, or family member is thinking when they are feeling down can make you anxious and stressed. If they are struggling with a mental illness, you might find yourself assuming the worst. When this happens, you begin to force them to talk. Although this may relieve your anxieties, it does not help the person who is struggling.

2. Keep inviting them

Attending parties, meeting new people, and even going out for a cup of coffee can be extremely challenging when you are struggling. For this reason, people often decline invitations to go out when they are feeling down. When they constantly decline and reject invitations, people stop inviting them. It is important to remember that this can only make them feel worse as they begin to think (and overthink) that their friends no longer like or need them in their lives. A simple invitation means the world… even if they do decline it.

3. Send them things that remind you of them

If you want to let them know that you are thinking about them, frequently send them things that remind you of them. This can be songs, funny pictures, or inspirational quotes. Although it may seem like something small, it is often these gestures that carry a lot of significance.

4. Ask them what they want or need

If you are not sure how you can help, simply ask them. Find out what they need and if there is anything you can do. In addition to this, let them decide what they want to do when you meet up to hang out. Maybe they would prefer to go for a walk in the park rather than a wild night at a party.

5. Offer them hugs

Sometimes, a simple hug can offer so much more comfort than a thousand words ever could. Do not underestimate the power of physical touch. A good, long cuddle can make anyone feel better as it shows them that they are not alone. Moreover, it makes them feel safe and secure.

When in doubt, simply ask what you can do to help. More often than not, all you will be asked to do is listen: your presence means more than you can imagine.

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