“1: I am not a mental health professional, but I want to help. What can I do?” Mental Health: Someone Else: Leaders (2019)
“I Want to Help,” Mental Health: Help for Someone Else: Leaders
As you talk with someone working through mental health challenges, the most important things you can do are to listen and show empathy. Statements similar to the following may help you communicate empathy:
“I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know that I care about you.”
“You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. Just know that I care.”
“It’s OK to have different feelings from one day to the next. There is no one right way to feel. However, allowing yourself to feel whatever emotion is present is often the healthiest thing to do.”
“I’m really sorry you have to go through this.”
“It’s alright if you don’t know all the answers, or don’t know exactly what’s going on. Let’s just talk.”
As you talk with someone working through mental health challenges, consider asking questions like the ones below to help you understand his or her concerns, needs, and circumstances. If he or she is struggling emotionally and needs professional help, contact Family Services.
How are you coping?
When you are having a good day, what happens that seems to help?
What sources of emotional support do you have?
What support can the ward members and I offer you?