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write for the Counsellors Café Mag

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Ways to support someone with a mental health illness

In honour of Mental Health awareness week, I want to share with you some of the ways you can support someone who you know or love.

A simple “hello” can go a long way…

A simple word, but yet can show someone that they are thought of, which can open the barriers to a conversation about how they are feeling. But if they don’t feel like opening up, chances are you’ve made them smile by saying “hello”.

“I’m here if you need me”…

This can really, really comfort someone in times of need. Not only can it make someone feel loved, but it will also reaffirm that they are accepted because you are reaching out to them. It also reduces the stigma of loneliness, knowing that loving support is available for them, when they are ready.

Be patient…

If your friend or loved one cancels plans or delays replying to you, be mindful of what is going on for them. I understand this may be frustrating, however, they could be struggling with day to day functioning and sometimes it may be helpful for them to take a step back from the world and be by themselves.

Educate yourself on their illness…

Sometimes it may be helpful to increase your own knowledge of someone’s illness. You may find tools or information for them that they haven’t come across themselves. It will also help you understand their illness and how you can further help them.

Love them for them…

If someone you know or love is suffering from a mental illness, remember, they are not their illness. Love them and see them for the person they are.

Kindness goes such a long, long way…

If your friend or loved one doesn’t feel like talking about what is going on for them, try reaching out by sending them a greeting card, a friendship letter, an email or text message stating that you just wanted to let them know you are there for them and thinking of them. You can also just be with them, sit with them, and watch a film so it takes away the pressure of having to talk.

Kindness is so powerful and can really mean the world to someone who is struggling.

Authors Bio

Zahraa is a Person Centred Therapist and Writer with a passion for mental health & supporting people through their life situations. Zahraa has shared that she also feels fortunate to have published two books, which can be found on Amazon, You can read more from Zahraa on her blog, on various topics which can be found on her website or get in touch via Facebook page

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