As we continue with Mental Health Awareness Month, I will be posting weekly key messages, along with statistics and resources, so that you can advocate and also raise awareness around mental health. By learning the facts and sharing the resources, you can make a difference in the life of someone struggling.
Week 4 Message: Supporting Someone Else
If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. Support leads to greater wellness by:
- Building connection, which is an antidote to stress.
- Creating increased vulnerability with someone else, which strengthens a bond.
- Fostering the feeling that you are not alone.
- Providing a space to gain perspective on the difficulty you’re experiencing.
To provide support, it starts with being an active listener. This is more than hearing what someone has to say, it is being present with them and asking open-minded questions to get more details about what they are experiencing. It is natural to try and share your own story to let them know that you have gone through something similar, just be careful not to compare because it can make someone feel like their pain isn’t valid. Sometimes people are struggling because of a mistake that they made. You may think that they are overreacting. Nevertheless, they are still feeling these feelings. It is also important to not judge and put your personal opinions and biases aside.
We often feel like we need to find a solution to what they are experiencing, but that may not be what they want. It is important to ask what you can do to support them. Processing what they are going through and letting them know that you are there to walk alongside them can be powerful. Finally, if you have offered your support to someone and told them you would do something, keep your word. When a person is struggling, the last thing they need is to feel abandoned by someone else.
Stay happy, healthy, and safe! ~Sally~