While it can be difficult to talk about mental health, our friends and family are valuable resources when going through a challenging time. In fact, having a strong support system is directly correlated with our ability to cope with negative emotions and stressful situations. Keep reading to learn about how you can ask friends and family for help with your mental health.
1) Be direct and honest
The most important thing when talking about mental health is to be direct and honest with whomever you are talking to. Your friend or family member won’t know how to help you if they don’t know the full story, so be truthful about what you are going through and how they can best support you. Being vulnerable is typically not easy, but you will be glad that you allowed yourself to open up.
2) Ask them to join you in doing self-care
If you don’t feel quite ready to have a deep conversation about your mental health, ask a friend of family member to join you in doing something related to self-care. Self-care is imperative for our mental wellness, and engaging in it with someone else can be even more enjoyable. Have a spa day, go for a walk, or just watch a movie with someone you love. You may even find yourself opening up more than you expected to during your time together.
3) Check-in on them
Make sure to check-in on your friend’s and family’s mental health regularly too! It is important to normalize conversations about mental health and reduce stigma surrounding the topic. If you set a good example for your loved ones by frequently talking about mental health from a non-judgmental standpoint, they will likely begin to feel more comfortable with the topic as well.
Friends and family are play a huge role in our mental health and can provide great support when needed. However, it is important to remember that they are not trained clinicians; so if you find yourself in an especially hard place, it may be best to ask them to help you find an experienced therapist.
Alyssa Meixelsperger, LSW