You know I write a lot of posts about mental health on my blog. Most of which are mainly aimed at people who suffer from mental illness themselves whether that be depression, OCD, anxiety or something else. However, I know that a lot of my readers don't suffer from any kind of mental illness at all.
No one is immune from suffering from a mental illness or being caught up in the dangers and destructions that mental illness can cause. When your loved one; whether that be a friend or family member is suffering from a mental illness, it can be extremely hard to know what to do or how to support them. You can feel helpless against this all-powerful demon who's hurting your loved one, and there's nothing you can do about it.
But there is! There's so much you can to help them! You are never going to be able to magically make them better overnight, but there are little things you can do to support them every single day, to make their life and battle against their mental illness a little easier. I realise how tough it can be supporting your friends and family with mental health problems, as I have personal experience of both. Which is why I compiled this list together of 50 ways you can support someone with a mental illness today, I hope you manage to pick some useful tips out of it.
1. Remind them that you are there for them
2. Ask them if they are okay
3. Bake some fresh cookies
4. Or cakes
5. Or you could just buy some from the shop
6. Send them a cute cat GIF
7. Listen to them if they want to talk to you
8. Treat them just like any other human being
9. Include them in what they are doing
10. But don't get angry with them if they cancel at the last minute
11. Respect them
12. Be alert for any possible signs that they may be thinking about taking their own life
13. Don't be afraid to ask them if there is anything you can do to help
14. Don't be annoyed with them if they start to shut you out
15. Be patient- recovery takes time
16. Try and understand the illness by doing your own background research
17. Don't assume that one good day means they have fully recovered
18. Try and encourage them to be independent
19. Don't blame them if things get tough
20. Equally, don't blame yourself
21. Make a crisis plan with them
22. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be looking out for them all the time, this could lead to you being irritable and not being able to look out for your loved one properly
23. Understand, that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to magically make them better
24. Take time out for yourself, to look after your own wellbeing. If your not in a good Place, you won't be able to help your loved one.
25. Share some of your favourite motivational quotes with them
26. Offer to help them talk to their doctor or other medical professional
27. Make them aware of charities that they can talk to if they feel like they need extra support
28. Share suggestions for coping strategies that they may be able to try
29. Praise them for the small steps in recovery, even if they seem tiny to you, they may be enormous challenges for the sufferer.
30. Consistently encourage them to keep trying
31. Don't push them to do anything they really don't want to
32. Keep what they say to you confidential unless you think they are in real danger, or they are happy for you to chat to others about it.
33. Be there if they need a shoulder to cry on
34. Don't get annoyed if they can't give you a reason why they are crying
35. Never tell them to " cheer up."
36. A little smile can go a long way
37. Offer a hug
38. Organise a cute little surprise for them that they know they will enjoy
39. Make them a care package
40. Let them know they are loved, and people care about them
41. Make sure they know that they are not alone
42. Don't tell them that you understand what they are going through if you haven't been through it yourself but make sure they know you are willing to do whatever it takes to get them through this hard time
43. Ensure they know that this pain won't last forever
44. Tell them they are not going crazy
45. Offer them a cup of tea. A cup of tea makes everything better.
46. Encourage them to write everything down that's troubling them
47. Help provide diversion methods to distract them
48. Remind them of how far they have come
49. And how proud of them you are
50. Tell them that you will never lose hope or faith and will support them to the end.
Love, support and kindness are some of best 'drugs' in recovery for people with mental illness. You might not have been through what they are going through, but at least you can try and understand and do whatever you can to support them in this very hard battle against mental illness.
Thank you so much for reading, as always X