Mental illness and mental health conditions affect many millions of people worldwide. In the US, over 57 million people are living with mental health conditions. These conditions can range from minor to severe, with people needing emergency intervention to help them during a mental crisis situation.
The reality is that with one in five people experiencing mental health issues, it is likely someone you know if someone you love is going through this as you are reading this article.
But with this still being a taboo topic, especially amongst the older generations, it is likely they aren’t showing signs in some cases, leaving you completely unaware of their struggles.
That being said, there are signs someone is experiencing mental health problems, and they are exhibiting signs which can be glaringly obvious or extremely subtle.
Signs of a mental health crisis include;
- Increased anxiety
- Irrational thinking
- Erratic behavior
- Increased dependence on substances
- Excessive sleepiness or being unable to sleep
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Acting out of character giving cause for concern
If you suspect someone is struggling with their mental health, how you approach them and bring up the topic can make all the difference when it comes to getting them to help and support for their issues.
Supporting a mental health crisis
Before approaching the person in question, you need to remain calm and composed to be in with a shot of getting them the help they need. If you are acting irrationally and emotionally, it won’t help the situation.
Set time aside
An intervention won’t work unless you have the time to dedicate to them to help them open up to you. Do not try to talk to them when you are juggling other issues or are busy. Instead, pick a time when you have no distractions and are free to sit and talk no matter how long it takes.
Let Them Dictate Progress
Changes are even if you’re ready to broach the subject of them getting Addiction and Mental Health Treatment; chances are they might not be receptive to talking about what they are going through or are open to getting help now. It’s important you let them dictate how fast or slow you move with this so they feel comfortable every step of the way. Don’t try to force the conversation or push them into discussing too much at once. Instead, take their lead and let them be in charge of how the talk goes.
Don’t Second Guess or Try To Diagnose
The worst thing you can do is to jump in, telling them what you think is wrong with them. This isn’t what you’re here for, and it won’t help the situation. Even if you know, including having a diagnosis, if it’s been diagnosed, stop labeling what they see going through and instead listen.
Avoid making assumptions about their health and feelings; don’t try to tell them what you would do or what is best for them. Just talk and listen to what they have to say and help them express themselves on their terms. Even though you witness what they are experiencing, you aren’t inside their head; therefore, you cannot know precisely what they feel or what their brain is going through.
Interrogation isn’t going to help anyone. This isn’t a TV show, and there isn’t a scene to steal. Instead, a life to save and support without the dramatics. When asking questions, try to keep them open-ended so they have an opening to respond truthfully. Avoid throwing accusations around or firing questions at them.
Instead, encourage them to open up, “I can see you’re struggling; can you tell me what you’re struggling with” or “Would you like to share your feelings on this with me.” Showing them you really care about what they are feeling and what is happening to them will give you a better chance at supporting them and getting them the help they need going forward.
Not just to what you want to hear. But pay attention to how they act, how they respond to you, and their body language when they share with you. Really pay attention to their feelings and avoid offering thoughts or suggestions at this point. They may simply need to be heard, and for you to understand what it is they are telling you. Even if you disagree with them, you still need to listen carefully to them.
Talk About Self Help
You can talk about the different ways they can help themselves if appropriate. About getting enough sleep, taking their medication if prescribed, and eating correctly. All of these small things you take for granted can go out the window when experiencing a mental health crisis, contribute to a feeling of hopelessness, and support a downward spiral, regardless of what is happening. These normal everyday things can be a building block to getting their life under control. Help them see how they can help themselves to get on the road to recovery.
Chances are, if you’re staging an intervention of this sort, there will likely be a requirement for treatment or medical care. Be it admitting themselves to rehab for additional issues or having an in-patient stay for mental health treatment, there is always help available. Talk to them about their options. What is available for them, and how will you be there to support them each step of the way? Have multiple options at the ready to give them a choice that they feel will help them the most in their time of need. This will provide you with the best chance of success and get them the support they need.
Getting someone help when they are experiencing a mental health crisis isn’t easy. You need to approach this situation carefully and in a caring and understanding manner to help you help them get the treatment they need to supper them going forward. Remember you are doing this for them, not you, and the aim is to help, not to make things worse.