Things to DO and AVOID when comforting someone with a mental health crisis
Mental health has become a very popular topic in the past year. With everything going on from protests, senseless shootings, to the COVID pandemic, it's very important that we protect our minds. Just like protecting our mind is important, helping someone cope with their crisis is just as equally important. Everybody is dealing with something in some way, shape, or form so it's important to be careful how we treat people. Based on the severity of the situation, a person can be a ticking time bomb.
So how do we comfort someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis? It's never easy-- I know. When I dealt with my mental health crisis after the passing of my Father, I was blessed to have people around me at the right time. The people who were around me during my darkest moments helped me but there were times when some made the situation worse.
IMPORTANT ❗️Anybody can have a mental health crisis at any given point, so it's important we recognize the signs and tread lightly before throwing ourselves into the situation.
Things to Do to comfort someone:
(in no particular order)
Show up if you say you will be there for them: A strong support system is very critical to someone dealing with a mental health crisis. People naturally don't like to ask others for help-- they often feel like a burden and can't trust people. If you say you're going to be there for that person, then be a man/woman about your word. The last thing a person who is dealing with a mental health crisis needs is someone who lets them down. A let down can makes things worse sending the person deeper into depression.
Do random acts of kindness: When someone is dealing with a mental health crisis, they often neglect the essentials to living such as eating, cleaning, sometimes bathing, cooking, etc. Random acts of kindness means the world to people who are dealing with a mental health crisis. It's in those moments that they feel people care about them which makes them feel good inside. Random acts of kindness can be buying them dinner, washing their clothes, cleaning their house, or even taking them out to get some air.
Remind them of who they once were. People can easily lose themselves in the throughs of life and situations. When someone is so consumed with their mental health crisis, over time they begin to lose a sense of self. Pull out those old photos and videos, show them memories of times when they were happy, invite them to do something that once brought them joy. These types of activities allow the person to see themselves differently and bring back those happy moments they once experienced.
Get them professional help. The greatest gift you can give someone dealing with a mental health crisis is professional health...and I'm not just talking about giving them suggestions. I'm talking about being so gracious enough to find someone you believe they will connect with and paying for at least the first session. When someone is having a mental health crisis, they won't get help themselves until they are sick and tired. Take that extra step and present them with a gift of a paid counseling session.
Things to avoid when comforting someone:
(in no particular order)
Avoid making you the center of attention. It's easy for someone to make themselves the center of attention. This is a huge mistake when comforting someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. This is because the person with the crisis is in dire need of someone to make them feel they are the center of attention in that moment.
Avoid telling them what they want to hear. You have to be a friend and a helper all at the same time. You can't tell someone who is having a mental health crisis what they want to hear. Sometimes you have to give them the honest truth in a positive way so that they can see the reality of their situation.
Avoid preventing them from being emotional. You telling someone who is having a mental health crisis to not cry or feel their emotional is THEE LAST THING you want to do. Showing emotions is the body's way of releasing toxins and allowing the person to feel human despite their situation.
Avoid pressuring them to speed up the process. Don't try rushing someone else's process because you don't want to see them to hurt any longer. The rush of the process makes things 10x worse. Allow the person to experience every emotion, and feeling so that they can learn things about themselves. Mental health crisis is no speedy recovery so allow it to run its course.
Please like, comment, and share with others. Don't forget to follow my IG page @marionellecoaching!
If you or you know someone dealing with a mental health crisis, share this inspiring video! Contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.