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Encouraging a loved one to seek help | Natural Body Cafe

Encouraging a loved one to seek help

Thursday, July 09, 2020

So many people are suffering from depression, anxiety and the results of some kind of trauma. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the signs that your loved one is struggling. However, when you can see that your loved one or friend is not behaving or acting as they usually would, it's a good time to offer some extra support and even recommend that they seek professional assistance. Remember, when suggesting that they seek help, it's important to do so in the most tactful way. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Do some research
Don't speak before you have done some research. Online research is not perfect and you cannot consider yourself an expert after visiting a couple of mental health websites. However, understanding what your loved one is feeling is the first step you should take. You should also understand how counselling can help.

No joking
This is a serious matter and you should treat it as such. If you cannot treat your friend or loved one in a respectful manner, it's best to have somebody else talk to them about the way they are feeling and opening the discussion on counselling.

Reassure them
Your friend or family member might feel like you are trying to pass them off to a therapist even though this is not the case. It's up to you to let them know that a therapist is trained and experience in these sorts of matters. This means that they are more equipped to offer real help rather than a sounding board or shoulder to cry on. When they understand that you and a professional therapist play two different roles, it will help them feel more secure in your relationship and prevent them from feeling all alone.

Consider their privacy
Do not bring up this discussion in a public place or in front of others. Wait for the perfect time and place. You might like to chat with them while they are in the comfort of their home but make sure that you are alone or you have the privacy you need to talk openly.

Don't force it
One of the most common reactions that you will encounter is defensiveness. So, don't be surprised or upset if your loved one reacts in this way. They might even ask you to leave or they may leave. Do not force it. Let it be and don't take it personally either. You can offer some information regarding therapists in their area. You don't have to force the information on them. Simply leave a note with the name and phone number of the therapist. When your loved one is ready, they will call. If you try to force it, you may only make matters worse.

Most of all, remember that you can still be there for your friend or loved one in between those therapy sessions. They will most likely still need a chance to vent from time to time or they might just like to get out of the house without talking about what's on their mind. Either way, just being there for them and letting them know that you care is the best support you can offer.

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