Mental Health Tips & Resources

Support someone

It can be difficult to see a loved one struggle with symptoms of mental health issues. Knowing how to best help and support a loved one can also be hard.

Every individual is different, and situations vary greatly. However, below are some ideas that might help you get started in approaching a loved one you’re concerned about.

Tip #1

Listen without

Active listening is all about focusing on, and engaging with, what is being said, paraphrasing the discussion, and reflecting this back – all without offering judgment or advice. Through active listening, we can help others to feel heard and valued.

1) Listen for non-verbal cues

Pay attention to body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures.

2) Don’t interrupt

Hold any questions or attempts to relate until they’ve finished talking.

3) Maintain positive body language.

Positive body language can show the person you’re listening to and truly care. Maintaining comfortable eye contact, sitting alongside.

4) Paraphrase and reflect

Summarise what the other person has said to ensure you are understanding and show that you’re listening.

5) Don’t offer a solution or opinion

Unless asked! If in doubt, ask if they want to vent or hear suggestions.

6) Recognize cultural differences.

Be prepared to discuss what is culturally appropriate and realistic for the person or seek advice from someone from the same cultural background before your chat.

Tip #2

Show Up for a loved one

Taking the time to be truly present with someone penetrates right into their heart. You’re connecting with them on a level where you’re all feeling each other. It’s a beautiful thing. This visceral feeling makes it easy to know when someone’s truly showing up (and when they’re not).

Tips on showing up for someone you care.

1) Be Mindful – showing up is about being more mindful of the current situation.

2) Create a safe environment – Being inclusive, compassionate, helpful, and a good listener in your daily interactions signals to others that you care about people and are safe to reach out to.

3) Actions speak louder than words – Don’t rush the conversation. Instead, put your phone away, give them full attention, hug them, and offer them the practical help they need.

4) figure out the support needed – Everyone is different, so it’s important to ask how you can help and listen to what they say. Make sure the help is what they need and not from your assumption.

Tip #3

Words of encouragement

The power of positive words is undeniable, yet negative self-talk is a feature of many mental health conditions. The good news is, learning to override those negative thoughts with positive words of encouragement can be a key factor in surviving – nay, thriving – when you have a mental illness.

1) “I’m here for you.”

Mental illnesses have a way of making people feel hopeless, misunderstood, and lonely. It will help them so much to know they have a strong support system rallying behind them.

2) “You are not alone.”

It’s important to remind your friend that you’ll be there with them every step of the way. The goal here isn’t to make them feel bad or guilty for their struggle but to feel comforted by the fact that they aren’t the only ones at war.

3) “You are worthy and deserving.”

Remind your friend that their mental illness does not define them or make them less of a person. Also, share how prevalent mental health issues are. Your loved one deserves success and happiness.

Tip #4

Understand the
warning signs

Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.

A mental illness can make you miserable and cause problems in your daily life, such as school, work, or relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy)

Feeling very sad, withdrawn or unmotivated for more than two weeks.

Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors.

Severe mood swings cause problems in relationships.

Excess use of drugs or alcohol.

Drastic changes in behavior, personality, or sleeping habits.
Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still.

Having suicidal thoughts or plans

Tip #5

Help Create an Action Plan

A mental health recovery plan is a way to be active and take control of your mental health so you can work toward achieving treatment and recovery goals. When you are part of making your recovery plan,

A mental health recovery plan is a way to be active and take control of your mental health so you can work toward achieving treatment and recovery goals. When you are part of making your recovery plan,

1) What is one specific problem that needs to be addressed? (Brainstorm a few, but choose one)

2) Why do you want to address the problem?

3) What are possible steps to address the problem?

4) What can you do to help?

5) Are there questions you need answered before you feel able to act?

6) What information or resources do you need in order to try this step?

Tip #6

Connect through activities

Physical activity can improve your mental wellbeing. Being physically active means moving your body and working your muscles: for example, by walking, running, dancing, swimming, doing yoga or gardening.

1) Bike Riding

In addition, cycling can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, a stress hormone that may block regenerative, deep sleep. It also can positively affect brain serotonin which can improve your sleep cycles.

2) Walk in the park

Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration. Nature connectedness is also associated with lower levels of poor mental health, in particular lower depression and anxiety levels.

3) Have a picnic

Spending time outside is shown to reduce levels of anxiety and lower levels of activity in the parts of our brains related to mental illness. Time in the sunshine is also related to improved mood and reduced stress levels for the whole family.

4) Goto a musuem

Many Museums offer free nights and some even have pay what you want, check local museum websites for details.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to speak with a professional. Consider calling the national crisis and mental health hotline 988

Self Care tips

Self-care is important to improve mental health and wellness. Learn tips on how to reduce stress naturally. If you feel overwhelmed, please check out the resources below to find low-cost therapy or counseling near you.

Mental Health Resources

Each year, some mental health issue affects 20% of Americans. It can be serious and debilitating. In addition, Healthcare can be costly, especially for those without health insurance. This section provides resources to seek affordable healthcare providers or local community health clinics for help.