It can be difficult to know what to say when someone is struggling with their mental health. It's important to remember that their feelings are valid and that you want to support them. Let them know that you are there for them and that you understand what they are going through. Remind them that their mental health condition does not define them or make them any less of a person.
Encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional and to watch for signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior. It can also be helpful to share your own experiences if you have had mental health problems and feel comfortable talking to them about it. This conversation can help your friend understand that other people are fighting similar battles. Change starts with courageous conversations, but just talking about mental health isn't enough to reduce stigma. However, if you practice having difficult conversations, you can become the kind of ally that every person trying to manage a mental health condition deserves to have. The blurred judgment that accompanies mental health problems can blind those who suffer from them to the better times ahead.
Everyone wants to be treated like a normal person, even if they know they don't look like one. This quote from Winston Churchill inspires people to continue their travels: “Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about”. Moving on will also subtly let your friend know that you care and that you want them to be there. So what are some words that are okay to say? Here are some things to say that may be helpful for most people struggling with mental illness: “I'm so sorry that you're going through this”; “I'm here for you if you need me”; “Your feelings are valid”; “I care about you”; “You are not alone”; “It's okay not to be okay”; “I believe in you”; “You are strong”; “You matter”; “You can get through this”.Much of the anxiety that comes with diagnosing a disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is due to the anxiety that this now means that you are disabled. Everyone likes to feel that they contribute to society, and depressed people who don't feel well enough to work can become even more depressed, as they feel a burden to others and believe that “everyone would be better off without them”.If you see warning signs of suicide, it is important to talk to your loved one and ask them to talk to a mental health professional.
Frankly said, be careful can move a sensitive and feisty person more than you might expect. The best response to a mental health disclosure is validation.