Recent statistics show that anxiety and depression are continuously on the rise, as it becomes more socially acceptable to be open about suffering.
Studies have shown that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, with anxiety affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, which equals to 18.1% of the population every year.
Be the help someone needs
There is help out there in the form of therapists and counselors who can work effectively. However, have you ever wondered if there is anything that you can do to support people’s mental health at home, for those around you?
It could be your partner, parents, children, or friends. Is there any way that you can help to promote a positive environment for them, which may ease their depression and anxiety?
While many of us might already be aware that those close to us may be suffering, it’s not always so clear to know what to do about it.
Always being present and encouraging open discussions are two key ways you can be supportive. Read on to find out how to use these effectively.
Always be present
We’re all guilty of getting lost in our own moments. From scrolling endlessly on our mobile phones to being absorbed in TV series, it’s easy to become distant.
Others will pick up on this – especially children. If a friend or family member wants to talk to you about their feelings and thoughts, realize it’s a big step for them and immediately turn your attention towards them. Don’t pick up your phone or be distracted. Listen to them, make eye contact, and join the discussion.
People tend to open up to those who naturally have a calming and comforting manner. It might be that when you start being aware of this, you realize you are a natural-born listener, with lots of patience and understanding which makes people come to you and want to talk.
Consider a career in counseling
When you start to listen and help people around you suffering from mental health issues, you soon realize how rewarding and empowering it can feel. This is what can lead people into realizing that counseling and mental health therapy can be an incredibly rewarding job.
Like mental health, anxiety, and depression are on the rise – especially within children – it has opened up more opportunities for skilled professionals to step into these roles.
For those who feel they may naturally excel as a counselor, it’s worthwhile to look at pursuing a counseling career. There are many online accredited mental health counseling programs out there, which help you gain a counseling qualification, leading to one of the most rewarding careers.
Encourage open conversations
The less we talk, the easier it is to bottle up feelings and emotions, which can worsen the extent of mental health. If you have members of your family who you feel may be going through a tough time, be aware of how many discussions that person is having about how they feel.
If a person is quite closed, just asking how they are and what is going on in their life regularly is a great starting point.
It can be harder when dealing with younger children. Try to get into the habit of having a series of discussions from a young age. That way, it becomes normal for them to feel the need to talk.
With anyone who may be sad and may start to open up about feeling low, always begin by letting them know you understand. Lines such as ‘I understand that you’re crying today because you feel sad’ are ideal starting points, before letting them know its normal to feel like that. The more support a person knows they can get without having to try hard to get it, the easier it will be for them to open up.
Over time, the more you talk to people about mental health, it will open you up to facts or real-life stories of someone suffering. Use these to help others who are struggling and want to recover. Share the information. Let them know they aren’t the only one.
Above all: look after yourself
Looking after others and being aware of their mental health and state of mind is vital in this day and age, but never forget to put your own mental health first.
Be as informed as you can about the signs and help available, so you know what to do straight away if you discover yourself or someone close to you is struggling
There will be times when people need professional help, and there is nothing more you can do. Don’t be afraid to explore other methods of support.