Supporting Others: Mental Health Awareness Month- Tools to Thrive
Written by Kristen Reese; Associate Director of Rediscovering You
“While one in five people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in their lives, five out of five people will go through a challenging time that affects their mental health. There are simple things that every person can say or do to help the people in their life who are struggling to get through the tough times,” Mental Health America states on their website. In this last week of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to highlight one more of the Tools to Thrive- Supporting Others.
We don’t all have the same experiences or the same opportunities. Recognizing that in the people you encounter everyday can make you a more empathetic person. Everyone needs help at some point in their life. “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good,” said Carl Rogers, Psychologist.
Mental Health America shares tips on how to support others. Here are my thoughts on three of them.
1. Practice active listening- This is easier said than done. I would want to jump right in and share with the person something similar I’d been through. I wanted them to know I was relating to them and I understood what they were going through. There is a time for this, but let them tell their story how they want to tell it. Give them the space and time. Put your phone away and give them your undivided attention.
2. Ask what you can do- Don’t hesitate to ask directly what you can do to help. It shows you care, and you want to be there for them.
3. Keep your word- If you tell them you’ll meet for coffee on Saturday, keep that date! There are times when actions speak louder than words. It’s hard enough for someone to be vulnerable with you. If at all possible, don’t back out on them. If you need to cancel, make sure you reschedule and that the individual is safe.
For more tips, visit https://mhanational.org/supporting-others#2