How to Support a Loved One with Mental Health Problems – Beyond Small Talk

Mental illness could happen to anyone and it could be difficult to recognize.

Unlike a physical wound that is easy to spot, mental illness is an internal war hidden behind a smile, a hello, and the telltale phrase, “I’m okay.”

According to Mayo Clinic, some of the warning signs you should watch out for are “excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt, significant tiredness, low energy, and inability to cope with daily problems or stress.”

If you recognize these symptoms in a friend, colleague, or family member, check out these tips from Beyond Small Talk hosts Peter Kairuz, Sonjia Kakilala and psychotherapist Alain Dizon to know how you can better support them in this journey.

1. Make the person feel that nothing has changed

You might feel awkward when approaching them, but try to relax. Make them feel that you’re the same person they have known and you still see them the same way. Create a safe place for them to unload and share their struggles without judging nor condemning them.

2. Ask them how you could help

It’s okay to be honest and to admit that you don’t know what to do. Ask them how you could help. Always take the cue from the person.

Tell them your limitations and boundaries when helping, but assure them that you’ll journey with them to recovery.

3. Learn how to listen

Avoid acting like an expert by trying to fix your loved ones’ problems. What they need are your heartfelt presence and listening ear to make them feel that you genuinely care.

Also, don’t force them to speak if they are not yet ready to open up. Just make yourself available whenever they are comfortable to finally talk.

4. Educate yourself

One of the biggest challenges that people with mental illness have to deal with is stigma. Educating yourself will help you to better relate to them and provide the best assistance.

Did these tips help you? Feel free to comment on the online discussion and make sure to catch the next webisode of Beyond Small Talk! Watch it next Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:00 PM, on The 700 Club Asia Facebook page and YouTube Channel!

Also, we would love to pray for you and your loved ones who are suffering from mental health problems.

Call 8-737-0-7-00 if you’re in Metro Manila. If you’re outside Metro Manila or the Philippines, contact us through CBN Asia Prayer Center.

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