A mental health disorder could be an overwhelming experience not only for those suffering from it but also for their loved ones. If you have a family member, friend, or colleague experiencing a mental illness, ensuring that they receive the necessary professional support should be a top priority. But understanding their emotional and behavioral changes and creating a supportive environment at home, work, or within their social networks are just as imperative for effective recovery.
Here are some important steps to help you with this process.
Learning more about mental health disorders can help you recognize early warning signs and ensure that your loved one seeks professional assistance without delay. It will enable you to understand changes in behavioral patterns, treatment options, and signs of progress or distress. It can prepare you to manage expectations and provide the necessary support for recovery.
Maintain an active dialogue.
Those experiencing distress often find it challenging to speak openly and ask for help. They feel misunderstood, ashamed, and isolated. Therefore, creating opportunities to have conversations is an essential step toward recovery. Be proactive in starting a dialog. However, avoid undue pressure and allow them to talk only when they are ready. Spend more time listening and let them know that they are heard.
No two individuals are the same when it comes to mental health disorders. The level of distress, emotional reactions, speed of recovery are all unique to each person. Therefore, it is important to avoid assumptions and being judgmental. Instead, create a reassuring and supportive environment.
For someone experiencing mental distress, taking that first step toward seeking professional support is an overwhelming experience. Then staying the course of the treatment program could be equally challenging.
Your support in terms of attending treatment sessions together with them, actively following up, and encouraging them to continue treatment could go a long way in ensuring recovery. Many treatment programs today involve both the patient and their loved ones. So, get involved, show interest, and let them know that they are not alone in this journey.
Ask for help.
As you actively support the recovery of your loved one, there will be moments when your emotions take over or you feel unsure about tackling certain situations. And at times you may suspect graver danger such as suicide. Therefore, it is important to reach out for professional support in such an instance. Our Crisis Hotlines and Mental Health Service Provider Directory will help guide you through the process of getting trained assistance.
Get others involved.
Creating a supportive environment for healing cannot be done on your own. It needs the active participation of others as well. So, getting the support of close family members and friends is important for an effective recovery process. It will also help you to share responsibilities and avoid burnout, create more support needed for healing, and help ease back into normal daily activities.
If you have a loved one experiencing a mental health disorder, read more about our Learning2Live™ and Vetted2Live™ programs that provide guidance on how you can play an active role in the path to recovery.