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3 Ways to Support a Friend Who Struggles with Mental Health

Seeing a friend struggle with mental health can be a difficult experience. You may watch them self-destruct or not know how to cope and take it out on their friends and family. It can cause distance or strain in a relationship, and you may feel lost trying to figure out how to help.

Two friends hold hands in support of friend struggling with mental health issues and seeking treatment at the Mental Health Center at Destination Hope.

A strong and understanding support system is essential for someone who is going through a tough time with their mental health. Knowing when to listen, how to react, and when to intervene as a friend is important to make sure they feel heard and supported. Luckily, there are many ways you can be there for a friend in need.

Signs to Look Out For

There are some signs you can be aware of when you suspect your friend is struggling with mental health issues. Some are more obvious than others, but if you know what to look for, it can better equip you to support them.

1.  Listen to them.

When someone is struggling with their mental health, they often feel as if they are completely alone, and people don’t understand how they are feeling. Sometimes one of the most important things a person needs is some to listen to their concerns and hear their struggles. If you provide them with an open mind and a nonjudgmental space to express their feelings, it could help them tremendously.

2.  Validate them and provide support.

Once you have allowed your friend to speak their truth about their mental health, it is time to let them know their feelings are valid and they are not alone. This is not a time to jump in with unsolicited advice, but rather let them know that you are here to support them with their journey towards treatment. Ask them what they need from you and how you can support them without being overbearing.

3.  Do not cross your own boundaries.

It can be easy for you to put your own needs aside to help a friend who is struggling with their mental health. You want them to be happy and healthy, but you overlook your own mental health to provide for them. You know the saying that you cannot fill someone else’s glass when your glass is empty. Be aware of your own needs and set boundaries with yourself and your friend who is struggling. You will not be able to properly support them if you are unable to support yourself.

The Bottom Line

It can be difficult to help out a friend who is struggling with their mental health. The most important thing you can do is to be there and genuinely listen to what they have to say and provide your support while not crossing the boundaries you set for yourself.

If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, give us a call today. Mental Health Center provides personalized treatment programs that ensures each patient is on the best path toward treatment and recovery.