How to Talk to Someone About Mental Health Problems

  1. Totally take the lead: If you know someone has been unwell or has been scarce, please don’t hesitate to ask them how they are doing. They may want to talk to someone about what's going on, or they may not. Just let your someone know that they don’t have to avoid the issue with you is important.
  2. Completely avoid cliches phrases: "Cheer up" "I’m sure it will pass" and OMG "Pull yourself together" are not fucking helpful. Be open minded, non-judgmental and listen will.
  3. Don't be afraid: People will want support at different times in different ways, just ask how you can help.
  4. Keep the topics varied: Just because I have a mental health problem that doesn't mean I am the mental health problem. It's not the only thing about me. I don’t want to be defined by my mental health problem so keep talking about the things you always talked about. Just spending time with the person lets them know you care and can help you understand what they’re going through.
  5. But don’t avoid the issue: If someone comes to you to talk, don’t brush it off because this can be a hard step to take. Acknowledge their illness and let them know that you’re there for them.
  6. Don't be pushy: Some people prefer nonverbal communication (text/email) rather than talking on the phone or the dreaded face to face. Just let them know you’ll be there when they’re ready to get in touch.
  7. Research IT: If you feel awkward or uncomfortable about having a conversation, find out more about mental illness.

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