It can be difficult to know how to help a friend or family member who is struggling with mental health issues. Recognizing the signs of mental health problems and connecting them with the help of a professional is the best way to provide support. Here are some tips on how to comfort someone with unstable mental health. If your friend or family member is reluctant to seek help, it's important to remind them that mental health problems are treatable and that they don't have to feel that way forever.
Encourage them to talk to a mental health professional or their primary care doctor, where they are most likely to start. Talking to someone on these calls is usually free, confidential, and led by people who understand what it's like to have mental health problems. If you think your friend or family member needs community mental health services, you can find help in your area. The Providence Center is a great resource for those who need mental health or addiction treatment.
You can also teach your children mental health skills with video resources from The California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project. Sometimes, as a friend, the best thing you can do is take a step back so that your friend can start getting help from a professional. NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session educational program for family and friends of people living with mental illness. It's important to address concerns early, as untreated symptoms of mental illness can worsen over time.
When feelings become very intense, last a long time, and begin to interfere with school, work, and relationships, they can be a sign of a mental health problem. People who suffer from mental illness tend to distance themselves from their loved ones, not because they don't like their company, but because they feel like a burden. Talking to friends and family about mental health issues can be an opportunity to provide information, support, and guidance.