Talking to a Friend About Their Mental Health
Maybe you have noticed one of your friends struggling. Perhaps they seem depressed, detached, or just generally unhappy. If so, they may be dealing with some mental health issues.
If you believe that your friend is having a hard time, you should remind them that they’re not alone. It can be a touchy subject, but encouraging your friend to consider getting help with their mental health can put them on a path to living their best life.
How Do I Know If My Friend Might Need Mental Health Help?
Having a conversation with your friend about their mental health isn’t always easy. After all, you don’t want to be wrong. Being a little down sometimes is normal and doesn’t always require therapy. So how do you know when it may not be just the normal "feeling down" head space anymore?
Here are some things to look out for that could mean your friend might be struggling more than normal with their mental health:
Significant life changes: breaking up with a partner, losing a loved one, or losing their job
Increased drinking or substance abuse
A loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities
Isolating themselves from family and friends
Making strange posts on social media or sending awkward text messages
Should I Be The One To Talk To Them about Their Mental Health?
Just because your friend might be dealing with some mental health issues doesn’t mean you should be the one to talk to them about it. Depending on the nature of your relationship with the person, bringing up the topic of their mental health may not be well-received.
So to help you determine whether you are the right person for the job, ask yourself these questions:
Do I think they would be receptive to my concern or brush it off?
Do I know what this person could be going through?
How long have I known this person?
Am I concerned about their physical safety?
If you feel comfortable with how you answered these questions, then maybe you are the right person to talk to your friend about their mental health.
How Should I Approach The Subject?
Not everyone wants help or believes that they need it. Before talking to your friend about their mental health, prepare yourself for their potential reactions. They could get angry, be dismissive, or even be agreeable.
Make sure you keep your friend in mind when choosing a place to bring it up. Remember, it is a sensitive topic, so make sure the environment is safe and comfortable. Always be gentle and understanding in your approach because the last thing you want is for them to feel judged or embarrassed.
Most importantly, let your friend know why you’re bringing up the concern for their mental health. You’re not judging them or thinking that they’re crazy. You genuinely care about their wellbeing and want to offer your support while they seem to be having a hard time.
We all wish we were emotionally and mentally stable all year round. But the truth is, life can be really hard sometimes. Luckily there is help and support out there for everyone. For more information on how I can help, please click here for services or to contact me directly.