When someone confides in you that they have a mental illness, it can seem insurmountable. What can you say to make anything better? What can you do? Sometimes the answer is nothing.
But here are some teeny tiny suggestions to make things that little bit easier for them:
- Don’t judge
- Make sure they have food in
- Make a cup of tea
- Be patient
- Ask what you can do to help
- Attend an appointment with them
- Ask if they need any phone calls/appointments arranging
If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with a mental illness, then you might not know what the next steps are. Here are some things you can do to help support your loved one:
- Learn about the mental illness. Mind, Rethink and Sane have some excellent resources.
- Look after yourself!
- Allow your loved one time to come to terms with their diagnosis. Some people see diagnosis as a positive, others a negative so be mindful of that.
- Find out if there are local support groups and offer to go along.
- See your loved one as more than their mental illness.
- Understand that your relationship may see new challenges, but work as a team.
- Do activities together that don’t focus on the illness.
These are only the very basics of helping a loved one with a mental illness but often it’s the tiniest actions which make the biggest changes.