Family Magazine

How to Help Someone with a Mental Illness

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

ID 10087408 How to Help Someone with a Mental IllnessI am often asked how to help someone with a Mental Illness. Feelings of frustration and  that of being useless are often felt.

The first thing to remember is that you cannot take away the mental illness or ease it. If your loved one is battling a mental illness or has been newly diagnosed then it is a difficult time for all involved.

You feel so powerless to help, just as your loved one does about struggling with their illness. It is a power battle and there are no winners.

The best thing you can do when caring for a loved one or friend who has a mental illness is to understand and accept that mental illness is an illness and it is not just going to go away. Never suggest your loved one “gets on with it” or “gets over it”.

We often feel worthless and believe that we are not worthy of love, remind your loved one or friend that despite their illness you do indeed love them and care for them and you are not going to leave them, no matter how rocky the road may get.

We need to know we are not alone, despite sometimes wanting to be.

Research the illness as knowledge is power. Learn all you can about the mental illness and it will enable you to have a greater understanding of how your friend or loved one is feeling.

If you are struggling to care for someone with a mental illness, as lets face it its no easy task, surround yourself with your own support network and meet like minded people who you can share your worries and frustrations with.

 How to Help Someone with a Mental Illness

Take the time to listen

Offer support but do not take over

Keep suggesting fun activities or days out, even if they never happen

Show that you are there for them, even if they don’t want to talk

Do not feel rejected if you are pushed away, we don’t mean too

Stop focusing entirely on the mental illness, we do have other interests

Help them with their treatment and recovery by offering to occupancy them to appointments, ensuring they are taking any medication and encourage them to talk to their mental health support team

Remind them how well they are doing, be positive about any small steps being taken

Love them, care and be there


In the UK today there are around 1.5 million carers; people who are the mainstay of practical and emotional support to someone affected by mental health problems.

Every year hundreds more become carers to a partner, family member, or friend, so it’s important that society understands mental illness. Resource 


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