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Ways to support someone struggling with their mental health

I wanted to highlight how to support someone struggling with their mental health because as someone who has been on both sides of this experience, it is SO important to recognize that our words truly matter. I hope this helps you feel more prepared to help someone who may be struggling in your life.

A first thought is simply: how do I know if someone is struggling?

This is an amazing question because we won't always know! Mental health isn't always obvious, it isnt always something you'll be able to recognize right away, and thats okay! What is important is you recognize a few warning signs that it may be time to check in. I want to emphasize that this list is not exhaustive, but should provide you with a few signs to think about.

Signs someone may be struggling with their mental health

- They cancel plans last minute

- They seem very irritable or on edge

- They are constantly busy

- They complain of feeling tired all the time

- They seem 'spacey' like they aren't able to focus as well

- Their mood seems different

What to say to someone struggling?

Now say you've recognized these signs, its important to know how you can help! If you're like me, you may immediately feel compelled to make the person feel better by trying to 'fix' or 'reverse' whats going on. Now let me share something I've learned from my own mental health struggles - rarely does something you say/do immediately 'fix' how the other person is feeling. The most powerful thing we can do in those moments is to simply BE with the person. Ask they how you can best support them, and simply be with them.

One of my favorite videos of what empathy can look like in these situations is the empathy vs sympathy video by the queen herself, Brene Brown. I've linked it here if you'd like to watch it!

There are MANY things we can say to support someone, and its okay if it doesn't go perfectly. What matters is that you're there, and you're open to support them however they need in that moment.

Here are a few examples of what supporting someone looks like, and what may be something you could reframe to be more supportive.

I hope this helps to guide how you approach supporting someone in need.

Sending love, Carly

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