Giving Mental Health Support: Empowering vs. Enabling

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Are you an enabler or are you offering empowering mental health support to your family member or friend? Discover the difference on HealthyPlace.

Giving Mental Health Support: Empowering vs. Enabling

To provide mental health support to a loved one or friend is generally very helpful. However, the type of mental health support someone receives makes a difference in his or her recovery.

Here's what I mean. When someone is in the throes of a mental health crisis, it's natural to want to make their problems disappear. Sometimes, people readily jump in to remove obstacles, fix, and make things as easy as possible for the person they care about. Such help is known as enabling. With enabling, people try to make healing possible for someone but they do all of the work (Enabling Versus Helping an Addicted Loved One). This can quickly become frustrating for all involved and removes the opportunity for the loved one to take charge of his/her own mental health recovery.

Empowerment Strengthens Mental Health Recovery

Empowering someone is different than enabling the person. Empowering lends appropriate assistance and support without taking responsibility for the person's recovery. Empowering supports in order to build someone up and help them regain a sense of control over their life. Empowering is motivating, and it leads to self-confidence and autonomy.

The best mental health support involves empowerment. Think of it this way, the support you can provide from behind (rather than pulling from the front) in order to help the person take charge of their own mental health is a great way to empower someone.

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Health Support, Empowering and Enabling

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: If you’ve experienced mental health challenges, what kind of support have you found to be the most helpful? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. The Benefits of Being Angry
  2. Anxiety and Overthinking Everything
  3. Depression Treatment: Outpatient vs. Inpatient

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blog homepage for the latest posts.


That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, June 3). Giving Mental Health Support: Empowering vs. Enabling, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: October 6, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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