First, take care of yourself. You can’t help others if you don’t do this.
Then you can:
1: Help with the basics.
2: Talk about mental health openly.
3: Offer support for what the person needs most.
HELP WITH THE BASICS:
-Focus on the basic pillars of wellness.
-Remind the person that the little changes we make add up and matter.
😴 Encourage 7-8 hours of sleep a day at a minimum
🍲 Promote 3 meals a day with a few healthy snacks
🚰 Remind them to drink 2 liters of water a day
🏃🏽Support them to get outside or do a physical activity every day
📅 Help them schedule activities and stick to them
🍷Advise them to avoid alcohol and substances
📰 Suggest limiting how much they use their phone and read the news
TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH:
-Ask questions and listen.
-Tell them that it is OK to not be OK.
-Normalize talking about how they are feeling.
👂Listen without judgement
If you want to learn more about having these conversations, @MentalHealthFirstAidUSA #MHFA or the #betherecertificate through the @bornthiswayfoundation offer great ways to develop these skills.
SUPPORT THE PERSON:
💁🏽 Ask the person how they need support.
🏋️♀️Offer support for what the person needs most and how they need it.
This can be a little tricky. If there are simple things you can do like helping with meals, cleaning the house, or helping them organize their appointments or medical care that could be very helpful. If there are things you cannot help with, like work difficulties, encourage the person to seek a little extra help from their primary care clinician, mental health clinician, in person or online therapy, case manager/social work support, or peer support (see a few resources at the bottom of the post).
💗 Remember: Sometimes we just want to fix things and make someone feel better. But, you cannot help your loved one with everything. You CAN be a support person. Taking care of yourself comes first. If your loved one needs more support than you can give, please use the resources listed below and urge them to seek care if their mental health worsens.
Stay Safe. Stay Well.
Those Nerdy Girls
Please note: If you or a loved one need additional resources, Mental Health America (MHA) (https://bit.ly/3c1pRX7 ) offers a great way to search for resources. And if you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 OR 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; Hearing Support: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Additional Resources for Mental Health Support:
Finding a Therapist with a Few Suggestions
Good Ideas for Online Mental Health Support with Reviews
Group/Class Based online platform