Have you ever got really dazed, confused and perplexed almost on what to do when you found out someone you know or love is suffering with mental health issues?
It costs RM0.00 to be a kind human being. Being kind to someone that is hurting is one of the best things you can do. Being kind and benevolent is simple and does not require much from you. Being kind to someone could be as easy as trying to understand them.
The key thing you have to do when you find out someone is having problem with their mental health, is to not jump to conclusions and judge them.
I would love to start with the things that you should not do because it is one of the easiest and fastest ways someone can learn from and better understand about the overall situation.
Do not label them as crazy or attention seeker. Do not amount mentally ill with crazy.
Do not blame them for having mental illness. In existence, they already are filled with guilt, unimaginable and unhealthy amount of guilt.
That is the last thing that they want to hear from you.
Listen carefully or listening without stigma.
The biggest and most helpful thing you can do is listening. You have to create a safe space for them to talk. You should be patient and try to be understanding when listening to them.
Even though it is not your journey, but you should respect and try to view it from their perspectives as they have given you their trust. They trust you when they become vulnerable and open with you about their issues.
It is extremely hard for someone to be open about their mental health problem because of all the stigma around it. If someone start talking to you about their mental health issues and their deepest feelings, know that you are someone that is trustworthy.
Be super careful when listening, be aware of whether they are trying to seek for advices from you or they just need someone to talk to.
You have to know the differences through the tone of their words or you can just directly ask them instead.
The next thing that you should not do is forcing. You cannot force someone to do something. People with mental illness often have difficulties in realizing that they are having real and valid problem.
They often dismiss themselves and refuses help. You have to use gentle techniques rather than forcing. The mind of someone suffering with mental health issues are often cloudy, and they often fail in thinking clearly and making the right decision for them.
Mental illnesses in general are often resistant to professional help, treatment and recovery. Treatment and recovery could only work for the person when the person is truly willing to go into it.
Deciding to go into recovery is a giant step that someone with mental health issues have to take. It takes a lot of courage and bravery. You should try to hide your frustration when they refuse to go on with your plan.
Encourage towards recovery
Another thing that you can do is to constantly encourage them. You should encourage them towards recovery, encourage them to do the things that are associated with recovery. Gently push them towards treatment and recovery.
You do not have to do it harshly as it is pretty much pointless. Encourage them towards the right and best possible direction. Encourage them to go to a therapist or doctor when you think it is necessary for them.
In conclusion, do not give up on someone with mental illness. You should be there for them when they are going through the tough journey. The journey can get lonely so easily and quickly. The fight can feel as if it is endless.
The recovery from mental illness is not linear and smooth path but it is going to be a curvy path. Recovery is not getting rid of the mental illness. It is learning how to cope with mental health issues.
Do your best in caring for someone with mental illness. If you get confused or unsure about something, just asks them directly. It is better to ask than just spiralling down the confusion. Being there for someone with mental illness is a humane act.
Showing compassion and empathy to people with mental health issues should be the same as the compassion that are shown to people with physical health issues.
To be kind is easy, it is whether you want to be or not to be.