Changing Minds

Changing Minds

How You Can Help Someone With a Mental Illness

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    NEWSLETTERS

    You'll be moving on to all that naughty hand-holding any time now.

    For someone suffering from a mental illness, a strong support system can be the most important step towards getting help.

    According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 61.5 million Americans experience a mental illness in a given year, and over half never receive treatment.

    But family and friends can have a hand in their recovery.

    If someone you know shows signs of a mental health problem or reaches out to you, NAMI has a number of ways they suggest you offer support:

    • Find out whether the person is getting the care that he or she needs and wants. It they are not, help them with someone who can help.
    • Express your concern and support.
    • Remind them that help is available and that mental health issues are treatable.
    • Be responsive when the topic of mental health comes up.
    • Be reassuring; make sure your friend or loved one knows you care. 
    • Offer to help with everyday tasks.
    • Include them in your plans but don't be overbearing.
    • Educate others about mental health problems.
    • Treat people with mental health problems with respect, compassion, and empathy.

    If you think your friend or family member is in danger of harming themselves or others, call 911.

    If you're concerned someone you know may be in need of community mental health services, click here for a list of mental health services in your area.

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