Giving Mental Health Suggestions to Loved Ones
Nothing is more important to me than the wellbeing of my loved ones, which is why I want the very best for them. When I notice that something could be improved in their lives, especially when it pertains to bettering a mental health situation for them, I desperately want to say something. Here are three things I keep in mind when making suggestions about mental health to my loved ones.
What I Consider Before Offering Mental Health Suggestions
1. Consider How the Suggestion Will Make Them Feel
One of the first things I always consider when making a mental health suggestion is that my two cents could have unintended consequences. By this, I mean that what I'm about to say could be interpreted as me micromanaging or trying to make them feel ashamed of their decisions.
I am lucky enough to have a family that tries very hard to have effective communication, so this problem is greatly cut down for me, but I do still run into it sometimes. The last thing I want to do is to make anyone's mental illness worse by making them feel ashamed of it, so I always take an extra second to anticipate how my response will be taken.
2. Understand That I Don't Know the Whole Situation
Another thing I am very careful to keep in mind when I am about to make a mental health suggestion is that I just don't know everything they're going through. There could be physiological symptoms that I'm unaware of my solution having, like weight gain or possible depression.
In addition to physiological symptoms, the truth of the matter is that my family member may not have shared everything the doctor said to them, and they don't have to. This means that I may not have all the facts or understand the depth of the situation. If this is the case, I have no right to be adding in my two cents when I don't know the entire situation.
3. Keep My Intentions Known
The last thing I keep in mind is that I should keep my intentions on my sleeve and make sure that everyone knows that I just want to help. I want it to be very clear that I don't want to take charge of anyone's mental health or situation; I just want to lend a hand and some suggestions for improvement.
With this information being very clear, it makes it easier for my loved ones to accept advice knowing that they don't have to feel pressured into taking it, and I don't have to feel the pressure of trying to single-handedly heal someone.
What do you guys keep in mind when you're about to offer mental health suggestions to loved ones? Leave them in the comments below.
Paige, A. (2021, April 5). Giving Mental Health Suggestions to Loved Ones, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, January 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalillnessinthefamily/2021/4/giving-mental-health-suggestions-to-loved-ones