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How to Support Someone in Mental Health Recovery

January 9, 2023 Laura A. Barton

If you’ve clicked on this blog post, someone in your life has likely begun taking steps to recover from their mental health struggles. First of all, thank you. I can say firsthand that having the support of loved ones has an impact on the process. It certainly has for me. Given that, I wanted to share how my loved ones have supported me and how you can support someone, too, in mental health recovery.

Ways to Support Someone in Mental Health Recovery Anyone Can Use

Finding the right mix of ways to support the person in your life as they recover from mental illness may take a few tries. Every person is different and has different needs, but I tried to pick the ones that can be used pretty universally.

  1. Give the person space. When I say give the person space, I mean space to go to therapy, support group meetings, or otherwise partake in activities that benefit their mental health recovery. One thing that I really appreciated early on in my recovery was my partner's understanding and giving me time and space to attend peer support meetings.
  2. Take time to learn about what they’re going through. Whether you’re learning about their mental illness symptoms or general details about their mental illness, this benefits you and the person you’re supporting. You’ll know more, and it’s likely to help that person feel more comfortable and like they don’t have to hide.
  3. Respect their boundaries. Boundaries might be set for a number of reasons, like avoiding topics because of triggers, avoiding situations that bring about discomfort, or avoiding things that the person does not want to talk about. Don’t force matters. While I love having the support of people in my life, I do still have boundaries to protect myself and my progress.
  4. Ask them what you can do to support their mental health recovery. This one may not immediately bring a clear response or course of action. That’s because communicating our needs in recovery can be difficult. This is definitely something I struggle communicating, for instance, because sometimes I just don’t know. However, asking goes a long way and shows you care to support them.

Supporting Mental Health Recovery Isn’t Without Challenges, But It’s Possible

I hope this has helped get you started on the right foot with supporting someone in their mental health recovery. Supporting mental health recovery and the person working toward it isn’t always clear cut and without its challenges, but it’s absolutely possible. Since you’re taking this step to read more about it, I know you can do it.

APA Reference
Barton, L. (2023, January 9). How to Support Someone in Mental Health Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2023/1/how-to-support-someone-in-mental-health-recovery



Author: Laura A. Barton

Laura A. Barton is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Ontario, Canada. Follow her writing journey and book love on Instagram, and Goodreads.

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