Throughout the world, there are millions of people who suffer from mental health issues. In many cases, you may not even know it because they are able to portray a degree of normalcy and have no problems functioning in regular society. However, that doesn’t mean that they still don’t need some help.
Ways to Help
If you are aware that someone close to you suffers from mental health issues, you may find that you want to help. Many people struggle with knowing what they can do to help others. There’s a sense that they won’t do it right or they will overstep their bounds. If you really want to learn how to help, there are lots of community groups who train everyday people in short classes. If you find that helping others in similar situations is something that is gratifying to you, check out Adelphi’s Social Work Program at colleges around you. There are also other things you can do.
Be a Good Listener
In a lot of cases, your friend or family member may feel like their concerns or feelings aren’t being heard. They may feel alone and isolated. To help them, be a good listener. More than likely, they aren’t looking for you to solve their problems for them, but they want to be able to bounce ideas or vent frustrations to another person. You can be that person.
Tell Them How Much You Appreciate Them
Many people who suffer from mental health issues feel like something is wrong with them or like they don’t belong anywhere in the world. This can be incredibly isolating and make them feel like they aren’t appreciated or cared for. When looking for a way to help, consider telling them something that you appreciate about them.
This doesn’t have to be something huge. Maybe you like the way they make coffee in the morning or how they stack the papers at work. If it’s a friend, maybe you like the way they keep their mail organized on the counter. The goal is to let them know that they are noticed and have a place in the world, and you can let them know that by appreciating them in some way.
Get Them Exercising
It has been shown that exercising is beneficial in so many ways, and not just keeping your body healthy. It’s a good way to reduce stress and tension. It also releases endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good. If you want to help a person who suffers from mental health issues, find a way to engage them in some exercise.
This can be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk or getting them down to the gym for some yoga or water aerobics. Exercising together will give both of you motivation to keep working, and it will be beneficial for everyone’s physical and emotional health.
Take Them Out for a Good Meal
In addition to exercise, eating the right foods can have a huge impact on how a person feels. Taking a person out for a meal full of delicious and nutritious foods is a great way to ensure that they are getting the nutrients their brain needs to help them feel better. This could also be an opportune time to be a good listener and be there for them if they want to share their troubles.
Give Them a Break
Everyone has moments when they feel overwhelmed and overworked. Stress can have a negative impact on mental health issues, so giving a person a break may be all they need to recharge and recoup. This could mean helping them clean their house or taking their kids for a few hours or giving them a chance to go to the store without any distractions. Ask them to find out what would be the most helpful.
Helping someone who suffers from mental health issues doesn’t always require a grand gesture. In some cases, a small act of kindness is all they need to feel connected and cared for.