You CAN Help Your Family Member or Friend
If one of your loved ones lives with a mental health disorder, it is critical for their recovery that you give them compassion, respect, understanding, encouragement, and support.
Be careful not to pressure or force your loved ones to do things. You can't tell other people how to think or feel just like you can't say when a person is ready to do the work.
With the right support, treatment, and healing, people with mental illness will know when they are ready to do something, including work. They are not just being lazy. And some people never recover from mental illness; others only partially recover. To provide support you may need to equip yourself with education and knowledge.
You Can Fight Stigma. You can’t control what other people think, say, and do, but you do have control over yourself. Even if you don’t know someone who lives with mental illness, you can do your part to help by spreading the truth, reducing stigma and increasing public awareness about this serious health problem. Please support these efforts just as you would for breast cancer or any other physical disease.
You Are Not Alone. Based on experiences of being around people I know that have a mental illness, I have witnessed the many ups and downs of severe symptoms of serious mental illness. Many people live happy, healthy and productive lives despite a mental health condition. Some have daily struggles.
One important thing to remember is that yes, you can help anyone dealing with suicidal thoughts. But do note that you cannot lose yourself in helping them. If things get too difficult and you find yourself feeling defeated, it is okay to get them to professional help. As long as they want it.
Mental Health Conditions Are Real
Mental illnesses are just as real and valid as physical illnesses. Whether there are malfunctions in the brain or in the body, people need proper diagnosis and treatment. Many early deaths are also attributed to mental illness in the form of suicide.
Everyone is Different
Each case is unique, as all individuals are unique. Even among people with the same diagnosis, every person will experience it differently. Not every person will exhibit all the common symptoms of their particular disorder. And what symptoms they do experience may vary in intensity and severity. Each person will be affected in a different way because of their own unique nature and personality.