How can I help?

Psychologists' advice for how to help someone struggling with mental health problems

Given that mental illness is so prevalent, it is not a stretch to assume that anyone reading this is either struggling themselves or has a loved one that is.

If we are in the latter group, we might wonder what we can do to support our loved ones? We may think maybe we can lighten the load a bit? Cheer them up? Problem solve? However, anyone that has tried these methods can probably attest to their limited success…

Whilst we have the best of intentions sometimes these approaches have the opposite effect to what we had hoped. We are often left wondering “why?” when they do not react well or do not change their ways. We might feel powerless, hopeless or even frustrated.

The answer to the question “why” is not all that simple and will be different for everyone. Mental illness is vast and varied and there will be no one-size fits all.

Generally, however, it is best to approach them with non-judgement and understanding. For someone with mental illness, feeling they are validated and are not a problem to be fixed, can be incredibly powerful. The stigma that still surrounds mental illness, means that this may be the first time they have ever been treated this way! You providing that safe space can be revolutionary.

For more tips on how to help check out our Instagram post @untangledpsychology.

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