December 2, 2023

Supporting Someone With Mental Illness

Closeup shot of two unrecognizable people holding hands in comfort

Many people don’t know how or when to help someone struggling with a mental illness. Some signs that someone may have a mental illness and could use your help are:

  • They suddenly no longer have interest in things they used to enjoy
  • They seem angry or sad for little or no reason
  • They seem emotionally numb
  • They eat a lot more or less than they used to
  • Their sleep patterns have changed
  • They’ve been missing more time from work or school
  • They’ve been drinking heavily or using drugs to cope

Caring for someone who lives with a mental illness can be challenging. Some ways to offer support and help include:

  • Listening empathetically
  • Reassuring them
  • Reminding them they’re loved
  • Offering your presence
  • Not forcing conversation
  • Be patient

You can also educate yourself because the more you understand about conditions, symptoms, possible treatments and what to expect, the better you will be able to support.