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Five tips on how to help a loved one with their mental health

It can be difficult to watch a loved one struggle with their mental health. It can also be hard to know what to say or do when they’re having a tough time. There are lots of things you can do to help though – take a look at our five tips on how to help a loved one with their mental health:

1. Listen

Often just listening to your loved one can help in abundance. Offering them a safe space to talk and to know that they are feeling heard can lift a huge weight off their shoulders and also shows them that you care.

2. Look for information

It might be worth finding out more about what is ailing your loved one, so you understand more about it and offer sound advice. Just make sure you’re finding information that is reliable – you’ll know if it is by the Information Standard quality mark.

3. Patience

It can be frustrating for you as well as for them if they can’t talk to your straight away or reveal as much information. Remember to be patient and let them know that you’re there when they are ready.

4. Empathy

Try and imagine yourself in their shoes and think about how you might feel. Offer them reassurance and let them know that they’re not alone in how they feel. Stay calm and take things and their own pace.

5. Look after yourself

Make sure you’re looking after yourself as well. It can sometimes be draining to be someone else’s shoulder to cry on, so you must ensure you’re keeping a keen eye on your own mental wellbeing.

If your loved one is over the age of 18 you won’t be able to force them to get help even if they need it. If you think there is a emergency and you don’t believe they are safe on their own, call 999.