The family is society’s basic unit. So, it’s not surprising to learn how there’s so much one can give and do for their loved ones beyond just providing for them and taking care of their physical health.
If you’re here, you probably know what that is. It’s time to open up about something that’s afflicting families everywhere: the alarming rise of mental health problems.
Modern discourse has dispelled some of the stigma around this topic. Yet, many people still seemed confused about what to do whenever a loved one approaches them about mental issues.
If you want to be there for a family member going through a mentally taxing episode or dealing with a diagnosis, start by simply being present and involved. It’s challenging to do, but as a family, it’s something you can get through together. It’s about offering a listening ear, letting go of any judgment, and, most of all, letting compassion abound more than anything else.
Aside from helping them reach out to professional aid, there are a few things you do to support a loved one with mental issues. Here are some you can start immediately.
- Join Support Groups
No matter how close-knit a family is, it’s natural for boundaries to exist between members. These must be respected especially when one of them is going through an experience the others may know little about. As much as this is vital, it can get lonely.
To provide them with an environment where they can freely reflect on and explore their issues, you can take them to support groups.
Causes like RU OK?, among others, provide your loved one with space and time to expand themselves and be with people who can help them on their personal journey. Open up the idea of joining one, then walk them through all the sessions. You can get recommendations from their physician to know where to go.
- Do Activities You Enjoy Doing As A Family
No matter how busy the week may seem, always make it a point to schedule family time. This doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. You don’t even have to go out! Merely staying indoors is good enough as long as you do things as a family. Make sure your schedules are out of the way to be fully present.
Doing activities together encourages positive relationships. Not only will you feel closer to each other, but it also creates a good outlet for everyone to decompress. If there’s anyone who needs to open up about something that could be bothering them, this can be done during that family time.
A close-knit family that does things together actually helps provide a safe space for anyone going through mental health problems. The openness that comes with the positive environment ensures that they receive the support and encouragement they need to pursue their wellness.
- Encourage Social Relationships Outside Of The Family
This third suggestion may raise some eyebrows. But to fulfill their needs for socialization, both kids and adults alike need to have social interactions outside the family. Friendships are a big part of the network of connections a person needs to thrive.
Of course, be cautious of the relationships you foster. The people we spend time with can provide either a positive or negative influence on how we live. Spending time with friends once in a while is good for one’s mental health, as long as:
- It doesn’t lead to isolation and resentment;
- The friends consist of people who help you flourish.
Give your kids and everyone else in the family that much-coveted time with friends. No one can pour from an empty cup, after all. So, the happier each family member is, the better you can provide each other with the love and support you need.
- Practice Gratitude As A Family
Social media and technology may have their uses. But they’re only good when they don’t cross the line of overuse. The former, in particular, has been pernicious to the thoughts and feelings of young people, who often feel like they have to perform to receive attention and affection.
Make it a point to express your gratitude to one another. That way, your loved ones don’t have to rely on simulations to feel contentment. Find something to be grateful about together, regardless of the hardships you face.
Take That First Step To Your Family’s Mental Wellness Today
Taking care of the family’s health is an absolute priority. That includes their mental wellness. If you have a loved one dealing with mental health issues, know that help is always available. Reach out to professionals to get the guidance you need to help them thrive.