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

Mental illness can 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 from 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.

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 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 speak.

Educate yourself.

One of the biggest challenges that people with mental illness 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 and do not miss the last webisode of Beyond Small Talk!

Mental Health and the Bible will be discussed on July 13, 2019, 7pm on The 700 Club Asia Facebook page and YouTube Channel so mark your calendars!

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

Don’t hesitate to call 737-0-700 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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