Mental Health

6 tips to support someone with their mental health

In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. This means that yourself, a friend or family member could be one of those six. It’s really important that we begin and continue to understand mental health as the more we understand it, the less of a stigma it will hold.
I got told recently that “I didn’t realise anxiety was an actual thing until I experienced it for myself”. This is what we need to change, we need people to understand but also to be able to help a friend, family member or work mate when they need it.

So here are a few ways you can offer support:
1. Listen – Listening is really important. Sometimes the person may not even be able to express themselves as they don’t know what’s going on. Just take time even if it’s 5 minutes to show that you are there as a listening ear. You don’t have to have the answers or give advice they’ll appreciate just knowing that you are there.

2. Talk – Moving on from listening, sometimes talking wether talking about how they feel or about something completely random to distract them from their thoughts.

3. Keep in touch – This might be a little text or just in the world of fb tagging them in a cute/funny video. I personally love cute dog videos but each to their own! Honestly though, sometimes on bad days, I find it difficult to text people. So even just a text so they know you’re thinking of them makes a huge difference.

4. Do not believe Fake News – Yes I said it. So in today’s lovely, delightful news world (a girl can dream right?) we have this lovely way of portraying mental health. Please please do not believe everything you see and hear, there are a load of made up things which get passed around. If you are unsure look it up, there isn’t anything shameful at all and in fact you’ll be helping your friend by being able to understand more.

5. Respect their bravery- It is so hard to speak out about how you are feeling. I felt like I would be judged, would lose friends over it and just scared how people would react. It takes a lot to stand and say “I’m suffering with a mental health problem” so when someone does come to you please respect their bravery!

6. Look after yourself- Okay so this may seem like a strange one but you can’t help someone if you feeling overwhelmed or stressed yourself. You can’t pour from a jug when it’s empty so it’s important to make sure you are okay first.

Remember though everyone copes differently, so I hope these tips are something you can refer back to if you aren’t sure what to do or how to help.

You can find more Information on mind, rethink and young minds. I hope this post has helped you in some way and started you on the step to help break the stigma around mental health.

Crissy x

 

Image from Healthy Place

Mental Health

Looking okay and feeling okay are two different things.

Having an invisible illness is literally one of the most infuriating things to explain. If it can’t be seen then you get some people who do try and say :
  • ah well you don’t look ill
  • You don’t have anything to be anxious about
  • You can’t be in that much pain, you’re always running about laughing and joking
So those right there are some of the most annoying phrases I get to hear every now and again. Lovely eh? My illnesses are invisible and whilst I can’t control that, people do need to realise that just because they can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not real.
My illnesses don’t define me, and they certainly don’t control me. Okay maybe the second one is a little white lie as if I’m having a rough day then i do want to scream but hey ho life goes on.
Even during my darkest days, I’ve gone out and put on my brave face. I have smiled, laughed, danced and been out enjoying myself. Somedays can be harder than others as at the end of the day I had to go back and deal with however I was feeling and try to find the cause of it.
Trying to avoid letting people know how I’m feeling is something I’m trying to become a master of. Comments and murmurs are something that really doesn’t help and can actually make me feel a hell of a lot worse.
Regardless of if my illnesses can be seen or can’t be seen doesn’t mean I cannot go out and have a good time. Quite the opposite, anything to help me feel even the slightest bit normal (which is totally overrated by the way) is welcomed!
So before you speak, have a little think. Be nice to people we are all battling something.
Crissy x