How to Help Friends or Family Members That Have Mental Illnesses

While you can’t solve depression for your friend or family members, you can educate yourself on their mental illness and arm yourself with strategies you can use to help them through their tough times. Finding strategies to help your friends and family through bouts with a mental illness can make it easier on them, and you! Here are x tips for helping someone close to you cope with a mental illness.

Educate Yourself About Their Disorder

Knowing what to expect can help make your treatment of your loved ones that much easier. Reading about what triggers their illness, how you can treat it, and what preventative steps you can take helps them to create a healthy environment. It also might help you find some control and peace in your relationship. Understanding the reasoning behind the actions of your loved one can help you feel that much better.

Help Them Understand

Asking your close friend or family members respectful questions about their illness shows that you care. It also can help them process any periods of severe illness or panic attacks they experience. Helping them understand their triggers can help them manage their triggers and keep their illness under control.

Help Them Cope with Stressors

Stress can trigger mental illness. Mitigating stress is essential to keeping your friends and family safe and can be an easy way to promote their health. Teaching them coping strategies to deal with stressors outside of your control is another way to offer your support. Who knows, you might learn some strategies that you can use on your own!

Encourage Them to Seek Outside Support

Having them join a support group, connect with others outside of your family or circle of friends, or go to group therapy can all help them work through their illness. Talking to others with similar diseases is an excellent way for your friend or family member to come to terms with their illness. It also provides them with a network of support that they can rely on in case of an emergency. Having friends that have the same illnesses they do can be a great bonding experience.

Remind Them That They’re Worth It

Mental illnesses can be hard on a person’s self-esteem. Reminding your friend or family member that they are healthy, functioning, and that you love them can do wonders. Even just a simple “I love you” at the end of the day can be a much-needed reminder.

Laughter Helps

Making them smile, laugh, or otherwise feel happy can do wonders for their mental illness. Taking the time to make them happy shows that you care and making them happy is a great way to spend happy, productive time with them. Try watching their favorite TV show, telling jokes, and involving them in other social experiences to help them laugh and smile.

Let Them Know That It’s Healthy

Talk to them and let them know that they won’t always feel this way. Treating their mental illness is essential but treating them like a person is more important. Keeping them sane, talking to them about their experiences, and keeping them in the loop with your family and friends is essential.


If you take nothing else away from this list, listen. Listen to your friends and family. Don’t judge them but listen to their experiences and offer help when you can. Your friends and family don’t have to suffer alone, offer them your advice!

Do you have more questions about mental health topics? Have a suggestion about a tip that you could offer your fellow readers who have a friend or family members who have a mental illness? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!

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