Anyone can have mental health struggles and it can be difficult to recognize.
Unlike a physical wound that is easy to spot, mental struggles are internal wars 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 from a friend 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 their journey.
Make the person feel that nothing has changed
You might feel awkward when approaching them, but just relax. Make them feel that you’re the same person they have known.
Create a safe place for them to unload and share their struggles without judging nor condemning them.
Ask them how you could help
It’s okay, to be honest, and to admit that you don’t know what to do, so ask them how you could be of 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.
Learn how to listen
Avoid acting like an expert by trying to fix your loved ones’ problems. What they need is 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 speak.
One of the biggest challenges that people with mental problems have to deal with is stigma, but educating yourself will help you how to better relate to them and provide the best assistance.
Did these tips help you? Feel free to comment on the online discussion of Beyond Small Talk!
Also, we would love to pray for you and your loved ones who are suffering from mental health concerns.
Don’t hesitate to call 8737-0-700 if you’re in Metro Manila. If you’re outside Metro Manila or the Philippines, contact us through the CBN Asia Prayer Center.