Mental health is something which we are now able to speak about freely and that is something which has changed drastically in the last 20 years. For a long while there was a real stigma attached to this and it was considered taboo to speak about issues of the mind. Whilst there is still a long way to go, we have come very far to arrive at this point. So what about if you are worried that a friend may have some issues around their mental health? I have a good friend who works for the mental wellbeing company Amare Global, and I asked him what he thought the best approach was to a friend who may have some issues regarding their mental health, here is what he said.
Take Some Advice
The first step to take is to speak to a professional about your concerns for your friend, this could be a doctor or a mental nurse, even a therapist. When you speak with them you should explain what it is about their behavior which is concerning you and why you believe that they may have an issue. The professional will be able to tell you whether or not you are right about your concerns, they will also tell you some signs to watch out for and they can provide you with some advice on how to move forward.
Opening Up a Dialogue
The best way to help your friend is to talk to them, sit them down and tell them about the concerns which you have, and offer to help them in any way that you can. It is important that you do not start talking about therapy, medication or treatments, this will scare them. All this conversation is about is letting them know that you are worried, and also letting them know that you are there for whatever it is that they need. Once you have spoken to them you should leave it until they bring the topic up again, not the other way around. Knowing that you are suffering from a mental health issue is scary and overwhelming so the last thing that someone needs is you putting pressure on them.
Whilst you shouldn’t raise the subject again of their mental health, it is absolutely vital that you keep in regular contact with your friend. Suffering from a mental health issue can be a lonely place which is why you should be on hand as much as possible. When you see them or call them don’t mention the issue unless they want to, keep the conversation light and easy.
If your friend hasn’t brought the subject up to you after a while then the action you should take is to point them in the direction of people who can help. This doesn’t even require a conversation, you can simply email them some links to therapists, charities or hospitals, and leave the info with them.
As hard as this may be you cannot force your friend to get help, you can only be there, be supportive and offer a helping hand.