5 Tips to Help a Loved One Get Mental Health Treatment
Community Mental Health Awareness
For decades, being diagnosed with a mental illness has been considered socially taboo. To this day, we often hear our patients talk about how difficult and challenging reaching out for help can be secondary to the shame or fear of being labeled. Society as a whole has perpetuated this issue and the impact it has on our families and our communities is tremendous. To combat this major public health issue, High and Grounded has made it a part of their mission statement to raise mental health awareness.
Drs. Ryan and Olivia Lee had the pleasure to sit down with Susan of Sonoran Living to speak about their approach to mental health treatment. To read the article published on ABC15 visit their website.
It takes an incredible amount of strength to be vulnerable and reach out for help. If you believe that you or a loved one are struggling with a mental health issue, the following are 5 tips you can use to help them break through that boundary and begin their path to personal recovery.
- Be empathetic. Approaching a loved one about the topic of mental health is never easy. Reminding yourself to be empathetic can help to mitigate potential conflict. Having a disease is never a choice and it often takes professional help to learn how to live with one.
- Do not deny their reality. If you do not suffer from a mental health disorder, it can be very difficult to understand the distorted thoughts that tend to drive the symptoms of your loved one’s disease. Sending the message that their thoughts or feelings are invalid is likely to be met with resistance. Using phrases such as “That must be very difficult for you. I would be upset if I felt that way too” instead of “don’t be silly, not everybody hates you!” can be much more helpful.
- Safety first. If you have any inclination that your loved one may be losing hope and having suicidal thoughts, the best thing you can do is to directly ask them. You will find that most people will be honest and relieved as carrying around a secret like this can take a huge emotional toll. If you think that there is any imminent risk, play it safe and call 911.
- Know your resources. Sometimes getting mental health treatment can be challenging in our current healthcare system. If you are expressing concern to a loved one about their mental health, having an idea of how to locate reputable resources is key. Having depression or anxiety can make it extremely difficult to function. Taking that first step for a loved one can make the world of a difference and help them to feel supported. Seeking professional support, such as an interventionist, can also be helpful.
- Take care of yourself. It can be difficult to live with a loved one with a mental disorder. You may find yourself becoming extremely worried and consumed with concerns about their wellbeing. This is not uncommon but should be addressed because chronic stress is a major risk factor for many health conditions. Taking time to focus on your own personal needs and doing something for yourself once a week is a good start. Practicing setting boundaries and going to support groups, such as Al-Anon, are also great tools.
We are all human and have our own personal flaws. Taking the time to be mindful when providing support to your loved one can help raise mental health awareness and battle stigma. These actions help to bring a sense of community back to humanity.
If you are interested in playing a part in raising mental health awareness, visiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s website is a good place to start.