How to Discuss Mental Health Issues with a Loved One

Are you concerned about a loved one who may be dealing with mental health issues? Whether you’re seeing signs of trauma, eating disorders, addiction, or another mental health issue in the life of a loved one, knowing how to approach the issue with them is key for providing optimal support. So, how does one go about talking about mental health with a loved one who might be struggling? In this article, we talk about how people can discuss these issues with people they care about who may be healthily experiencing them. And, how to support these individuals once they do decide to get help.

Why It’s Important to Spark the Conversation About Mental Health

Talking about mental health is an important thing to do if you’re worried about someone you love who may be dealing with a mental health issue. While we all deal with anxiety, stress, sadness, and worry, people with mental health issues deal with these issues on an even greater scale. And, dealing with these symptoms can greatly affect an individual’s personal, social, family, and professional life. So, it’s important for individuals living with mental health issues to be able to talk about these issues with those who love them. Get the support they need to make healthy decisions about treatment, get professional help, and manage the symptoms of diagnosed mental health issues.

How Can a Loved One Talk to Another About Mental Health Issues? 

While talking about mental health issues with those you love who may be living with them is important, it’s also important for people to know how to in a successful and effective way. Furthermore, knowing what to say can help you feel comfortable in having these conversations. And, give you the right tools to say what’s best in order to offer the support your loved one requires.

Some tips for talking about mental health with a loved one include: 

Provide a Judgement-Free Space: It’s vital to be open-minded when talking to a loved one about mental health. This allows them to feel safe and supported while speaking with you. A good way to do this is to offer a safe and comfortable environment to talk so that there is privacy. And, to set a time for the conversation so there are no distractions. Finally, don’t put any limitations on what your loved one can share with you so that they know that you’re in their corner no matter what they’re experiencing.

Practice Active Listening: When talking to someone about mental health, it’s best to practice active listening. This means not only listening but truly ingesting what someone else is saying to you before responding. And, not giving examples of your own experiences, as this may not help them to better understand the issues they’re facing. Rather, it provides comfort, understanding, and support to allow them to vent about their issues and how to face them.

Don’t Diagnose: Remember, when talking to a loved one about mental health issues, you are not a mental health specialist. While you may have done your research and believe that you know what’s going on, it’s important to leave the diagnosis to the professionals. So, try your best not to diagnose any of the issues they’re dealing with yourself and offer insight into how mental health specialists are the best way to determine which mental health issues a loved one may be dealing with.

Offer Insight Into Selfcare: One thing that people living with mental health symptoms can do is to practice self-care in order to manage symptoms. So, you can always provide insight into how to utilize these tools. Some of these methods can include meditation, eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising.

Talking to a Loved One About Getting Mental Health Help

One of the most vital parts of talking to a loved one about mental health issues they may be experiencing is to suggest that they seek professional help. Mental health specialists can help to diagnose mental health issues. And, develop individualized approaches to treatment that are created according to specific and unique needs.

Lotus Healing offers outpatient treatment and therapy services for individuals living with various mental health issues. If you find that a loved one needs help, find out more about our services and how we can assist you. 

Dr. Dixie Brown is a PhD level Therapist, Integrative Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist with 15 years of experience working in Mental Health, specifically with trauma, eating disorders, and substance use.

Dixie Brown

Author

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Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.