A lot of the time we can recognize that others are suffering but the challenge is being able to know what to say and how best to approach the subject.
As the festive season comes to an end, for some people this will be a relief while for others, returning to work will be the mark of added stress.
Mental health support 101:
1. Be proactive. If there's someone that you sense is suffering, simply saying 'I'm always here for you if you need me' isn't useful because unfortunately those facing mental health challenge will be the last people to actively reach out for support. So instead suggest an activity, invite them on a walk or for coffee.
2. If there's a behaviour that others do that upset you, instead of reacting to it, reframe it to an 'I' statement. A lot of the time, people with mental health challenges can display anti-social behaviours which feed into an isolating catch-22 perpetrating their feelings of isolation. So instead, 'I feel like you're avoiding me every time I invite you out and you say no, I really miss your company and would love to see you soon'
3. Recognize your limits. As a friend or a family member there is only so much you can do. It is important to remember that anxiety and depression can become truly debilitating diseases that individuals shouldn't have to face alone. Contact a professional in your community if you feel like you don't have the coping skills to help those around you.
How do you help those around you?