our mental health It influences the way we think, feel, act, and relate to others. And it’s something we all need to focus on, especially if we’re going through a major life change, dealing with stress, or struggling with a relationship.
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While you may care about your own mental health, there may be times in your life when you worry about the mental health of others. “You might think that.
But under the right circumstances, reaching out can do a lot of good, say psychiatrists Minnie Bowers-Smith, M.D..
Dr. Bowers explains how to help a child, teenager, adult, friend, or colleague who may be dealing with a mental health condition.
How to Get Family Mental Health Help
Whether it’s your own child, sibling, or aunt, you may be worried about how to get mental health help for someone you love. provide.
what to say to children and teenagers
Let’s say you notice that your 16-year-old niece isn’t very happy. She has bad grades in her school. She is not interacting with her people, taking care of herself, or getting along with her family and friends.
“If something doesn’t seem right for your normal 16-year-old, have a conversation with her,” Dr. Bowers says. “difficult talk to teens Unless they don’t want to talk to you, I try to take advantage here and now. What do you mean? ’ I ask.”
Finally, you can say, “Is there anything you’d like to talk about?” or “Can I help you?”
If you see Young man’s wrist injuryIf they always wear black, if they always look unhappy, Dr. Bowers suggests asking, ‘Is it possible that I might hurt someone or hurt myself? or “Have you ever thought about dying?”
“It’s better to ask questions than not to ask,” says Dr. Bowers. “with teensalways want to know about suicidal thoughts in order to prevent harm to themselves and others.
Alternatively, you can ask parents to pose these questions to their children. If that doesn’t work, parents should consult their child’s pediatrician.
“If a teenager is violent toward themselves, siblings, or parents, an ER visit is necessary,” says Dr. Bowers. If you’ve ingested it, go to the ER, then leave it to the professionals to decide when to bring it home.”
what to say to adults
Suicide risk is not limited to young people. “Suicide Also, the concerns of the elderlysays Dr. Bowers.
Let’s say your 55 year old uncle was laid off. He isolates himself, becomes hypersensitive, and doesn’t mind shaving his beard or wearing clean clothes.
Midlife crises – unemployment, financial setbacks, health problems, and/or relationship problems – increase suicide risk, especially among men. Alcohol abuse only adds fuel to the fire.
How do you deal with older generations on this sensitive issue? Dr. Bowers recommends a gentle and respectful approach. Start by asking how they are doing and if they can still enjoy their favorite hobbies.
“Then gently say, ‘Are you happy with what you have now?'” she suggests.
If they don’t volunteer information, you can observe if they don’t seem happy and are not getting along. Ask if they are sleeping, eating, and taking care of themselves.
“Then it can be very calming, like, ‘Maybe I should talk to someone. The medicine will make me feel better,'” Dr. Bowers says. Ask if you have a family doctor, then help make an appointment.
But if a relative admits to hoarding drugs or says, “Life doesn’t look worth living,” take them to the ER or urgent care, or call your local suicide prevention hotline or the police. Please call.
“If you say you have a suicidal relative, we can connect you to the services you need,” she continues. “Big cities often have crisis response teams that go to their homes.”
How to Get Mental Health Help for Friends and Colleagues
It’s hard to talk to someone you’re not related to. For example, a friend who got stuck at work because of difficult or erratic behavior.
Don’t judge and offer support for your interest. “Discussing what they should have done or what the boss should have done doesn’t help,” he notes Dr. Bowers. Say, “I’d like to help you solve the problem you were having.” Show them that you are working with them, not against them. “
Say, “I know someone who can help,” and give the name of the doctor or counselor. But if you think the situation might escalate, get help.
“Use your judgment,” Dr. Bowers advises. “If you think the person is angry, or if they have a gun or knife, or say they will hurt someone or cut someone’s tire, call the police or your workplace security. please.”
Know Your Limits When Providing Help
Compassion is key when caring for someone with mental health issues. After all, they may not even realize they have a mental disorder.
“Think and ask questions,” says Dr. Bowers. “Some people serious mental illness They may refuse our help. But sometimes you’re not asking the right questions. “
And remember, you can’t fix their problems — only a mental health professional can. can.
Community resources are also helpful.of National Mental Illness Alliance (NAMI) is a free resource for people with mental health issues and their loved ones. You can call or text the NAMI Helpline at 800.950.6264.
self-help groups like anonymous emotions (12 step program) is also invaluable.
Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
You may be wondering who to call when you are concerned about someone’s mental health.
To Call or text 988 No matter where you are in the United States, you will be connected to a local counselor who can help you with the issues you are facing. We can even send a mobile-ready team to provide long-term support.
Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, contemplating suicide, having a substance abuse problem, or worried about your friends and family, 988 is for everyone.
Good mental health should be a lifelong goal. Bowers points out that we tend to think about mental health only during crises, but our own mental health, and the mental health of those around us, should be a lifelong concern. I have.
“Many life events can be confusing, scary, and overwhelming,” she adds. It can get you through the turmoil, and the many other challenges life can bring.”