How To Support Someone With A Mental Illness

supporting mental health It’s incredibly difficult to watch someone you know and care about struggling with mental health issues but your support is paramount during this time and can make a huge difference to recovery. It’s perfectly normal to feel clueless about what you should be doing and saying however so below we have highlighted a few of the things you can do to show your loved one that you are there for them.


  • Find out if they’re getting the care and help that they need and want. It can be incredibly difficult to admit that we’re suffering from a mental health condition and it can therefore take a long time for the person in question to seek help. It’s important not to push sufferers as it must be done on their terms but if your friend, family member, partner or colleague is ready to receive help and treatment, you can help them by connecting them to the right professionals and even attend meetings with them if they want the extra support.
  • Treat people with mental health problems with the respect, compassion and empathy they need. It’s not uncommon for sufferers to feel that there is no solution to their problems so they can be reluctant to talk, seek help or try to look for ways of getting better. It’s vital that you don’t become frustrated and angry with them because this can make them feel worse. Patience is paramount and remember that however difficult it feels for you, it’s much harder for them.
  • Educate yourself so that you understand mental health conditions. Those who have never had mental health issues will find it incredibly difficult to understand the everyday thoughts and actions of a sufferer. Doing some research will not only help you to understand what the person is going through, it will also ensure you can offer the correct support and furthermore, the more knowledge you have, the less likely you are to discriminate.
  • Include the person in your plans. Even if they repeatedly turn down the invitation, very rarely attend your gatherings or do come along but don’t seem to enjoy themselves, ensure that you carry on making an effort. Don’t be overbearing but if you are meeting with mutual friends or colleagues, ensure you always include them as this can help to create a sense of belonging and if they do feel up to attending social gatherings it can work wonders for their state of mind.

To learn more about mental health issues, visit our Life Works Knowledge Centre. If you are worried that you or someone you know may be suffering with mental health problems, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes Page or contact us today.

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