3 Steps to Take When Helping a Mentally Ill Loved One
[Note from Ron WZ Sun: Below unedited article was contributed by Jennifer McGregor. Photo image via Pixabay by kevinbism. You can follow the steps Jennifer highlighted as a solution after profiling a person with suicidal thoughts and/or with mental worries. These could help boost you or your loved ones’ confidence to take a step closer towards a healthier and happier life. I’ve discussed the suicidal thoughts in earlier articles, and will continue to share more observations on identifying the health signs from an Elemgent of Numbers (EON) perspective in future articles.]
Suicidal thoughts are not something to be taken lightly, particularly when there are underlying conditions causing them. Mental illness, most commonly depression, is a leading cause of suicidal thoughts and actions. Substance abuse, particularly alcohol, is also another very common factor. These three things are very much interconnected, posing a great risk to anyone suffering from any one of the factors. If you suspect someone you care about might be contemplating suicide as a result of their illness, here are a few steps to take.
1. Gently Confront Them
Approach the subject of your loved one’s well-being with care. Make sure you do not seem angry or condescending. You want them to know that you are worried about them and what they are doing that is concerning you. Do some research before approaching them with such a delicate subject to be certain that you’re taking the right approach based on the warning signs you’re seeing.
If you’re concerned that they may rebuff your attempt at talking about it or that they won’t take you seriously, you may want to get help from other close friends and family. Let them know that there are people who care about them and want to make sure they are okay.
2. Encourage Them to Seek Help
Once you have voiced your concerns, you need to encourage your loved one to get help. Treatment is the only way to resolve issues of mental health, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. Without treatment, the symptoms of mental illness can become worse, an addiction can spiral out of control, and suicidal thoughts can become suicidal actions.
Though healthy habits and support from loved ones can help, they are no replacement for the assistance of a profession. Some mental illnesses require medication to stabilize the person, and some suicidal thoughts cannot be overcome alone. A trained therapist can make recovery not only feasible but likely.
3. Be Supportive
After you have secured treatment for your loved one, your role becomes that of a supporter. Make sure they are attending treatment, be a listening ear, and plan beneficial activities to make things easier. Some good things to plan with your loved one might be regular exercise, joining a meditation group, learning a new hobby, or any other positive and enjoyable activity you can do together.
You want to be sure their life does not revolve around their recovery, their mental illness, or any other problem they are having. While it is important to talk openly about their health, it is also important that they have the chance to forget their difficulties and learn positive coping mechanisms. Activities like exercising and meditation can also smooth the road to recovery with the numerous positive effects they have on mental well-being.
Acknowledging that someone you love may be in danger is frightening. If they are also struggling with a mental illness and addiction, it is even more so. The steps you need to take are not as difficult as they may seem. Your main priority is to get them help and be supportive. Both you and your loved one can pull through this difficult time, no matter how nerve-wracking things may seem.