Talking about mental health can be anxiety provoking. Especially when someone else’s mental health is in question.
You might feel like you should be there for them, but don’t know where to start or how to approach the subject.
Make them feel comfortable
The first step is to take them somewhere private where they’ll feel comfortable.
The setting is important as what you will be discussing is personal and delicate; therefore they will need to feel as comfortable as possible.
What they are talking about they may have never told anyone else before.
They could feel embarrassed, ashamed or angry, so be patient and let them go at a pace that suits them.
If they wish to discuss their issues with you, remember to listen, not to judge or accuse them of doing something wrong.
So make sure you are accepting, comforting and there for them in any way they wish you to be.
Next is to prepare yourself. When discussing your friend’s issues they might become upset, dismissive or even angry at you for bringing up their problem.
You are essentially prodding an open wound so it makes sense that they would flinch emotionally as they are in pain.
Be prepared and try not to take in personally.
Look after yourself too
Lastly look after yourself. You are a good person for trying to look after another person, but make sure that you are safe physically and emotionally.
Just because you want to be there for them, this doesn’t mean you should do something that puts your safety at risk or goes against your own moral code.
I hope this blog has helped to give you the confidence to help someone you feel is in need of support.