Without having a healthy mental state in the present, it can be difficult to prepare for a healthy future. A strong sense of mental health or a plan to maintain it can be essential to your overall well-being.
Many people experience periods of time in which a negative mental state puts a damper on life. Sometimes, a friend may call upon you for advice involving mental health.
This can be difficult when you don’t feel qualified to help, and they may need to turn to a therapist. It is important to understand how to provide friends with the support they need while ensuring that it is appropriate and helpful.
Types of Friends:
There are different levels of friendship. In some situations, it is more possible to simply sense a close friend’s state of mind based on changes in your interactions, while others can be harder to judge.
If two people are very close to one another, they might feel comfortable speaking freely about both the positive and negative aspects of their lives. In this case, it might be more simple to realize that a friend is experiencing troubles with their mental health.
For friends who are not as close, or perhaps coworkers or acquaintances, it may be a bit trickier to see that the other person is struggling through difficult times. It is likely that clear verbal communication will be required for this category of friends.
Instead of purely sensing that something is wrong with the other person, there may need to be a discussion in which feelings are discussed explicitly and honestly. In any instance where a friend is confiding in you about their mental health, it is important to remain an active, polite listener who is concerned about your friend’s welfare.
Some people have trouble speaking up and clearly asking for help, so this mix of intuition and communication can be fluid when you are trying to decide if someone needs your support.
When helping friends with their mental health, remember that you are not a mental health professional and that your friend should not expect you to give advice of the same caliber as a therapist.
Offering any kind of guiding words is often constructive, so long as you maintain a calm, polite, honest, and caring attitude. Remember that you are here to comfort a person during a time of need and provide guidance, rather than judgment. Sometimes a listener can be enough to help someone feel heard.
The many online resources available could also help a friend who needs support, especially if you help with the research. There are many articles written by well-schooled mental health professionals that can provide great insight at no cost to the reader. Articles of this nature are informative and may lead to changes in mood and behavior.
Perhaps it would be a good idea for friends to read these articles together and discuss different methods for improving mental health. Reading advice articles and talking with friends can help alleviate a lot of mental strife.
If simply reading articles does not prove helpful enough, it may be time to seek the advice of mental health professional. As a concerned companion, you can help your friend establish contact with a therapist, whether it be virtually or in an office.
You may go through: Seven Reasons You Should Visit a Doctor More Often
When a Therapist Is Needed:
No matter how hard we may try, sometimes it is not possible to help our friends as effectively as a mental health professional would.
For relationship advice and general life stressors, speaking with a friend just may do the job. However, for friends who have a more serious mental health illness that could require the help of a therapist, it may be necessary to explore other options.
Suggesting that someone else see a therapist can be tricky or feel like an attack on them, so examine your closeness with the other person and the severity of their situation before making a recommendation.
It can be helpful to remember that anyone can benefit from therapy, not only those who experience mental illness.
The Realities of Therapy:
Therapy does not need to be expensive. While out-of-pocket expenses for in-office therapy sessions may run between $65 and $200 per visit, health insurance can help.
For those without insurance, there may be other therapy options available at low or no cost.
It may be helpful to introduce your friend to websites that offer online mental health advice in the form of articles and sessions with professionals.
There are websites designed to match people seeking counseling with qualified professionals who can provide insightful comments and treat mental illnesses. These options are typically offered for a lower price and can be simple to schedule.
No matter how you choose to help a friend struggling with mental instability, it is important to remain supportive. Try to help that friend in an appropriate fashion so that they may get better sooner rather than later. We all could fall upon tough times, and it is wonderful to have friends at our sides for support.