Mental illness is a serious affliction that must be taken seriously, there are no two ways about that. What’s more, those who suffer with a mental illness need serious and real help. And you, if you are lucky enough to not be afflicted with a mental illness, can be the one to provide this help. For advice on how to do so, make sure to read on.
You could provide the missing piece of the puzzle.
First of all, know the signs
Before you can begin to help anybody with a mental illness that they are inflicted with, both they and you need to know that they are in fact inflicted. This means knowing, spotting and then acting upon the signs of mental illness.
The general warning signs are as follows: sudden changes in regards to mood swings that are either one extreme of the other, a noticeable increase in worrying and overthinking, a withdrawal from social gatherings and very big changes in both eating and sleeping patterns. Also, you should look out for substance abuse, too, as 90% of the time this goes hand in hand with mental illness; this is known as dual diagnosis. If you were to notice any of these warning signs in a person or see a sharp increase in their substance intake, especially if this person has proven his or herself to be mentally fragile before, then you must act upon them.
Second of all, act upon them
Yep, you can’t brush the signs of mental illness that you see in a person off as nothing; you must act upon them. This could mean referring them to a professional in the field of mental health, and chipping in towards the financial costs of doing so; or, this could mean doing all you can yourself to support them. This means listening closely to everything that they say. This means staying calm in regards to everything you hear them say, even if it directly affects you. This means offering reassurance in areas that you know yourself, wholeheartedly can be reassured without professional assistance. This means not making assumptions after hearing certain things, even if you don’t like what you hear. This means practising patience with the patient (because they are a patient, even if they haven’t been admitted to a hospital). And this means being just as much as a social contact to the patient as you are someone who speaks to them about their mental health.
Third of all, continue to help
You don’t need a degree in counseling to be able to help people you know, or even don’t know, manage or even beat their mental illness. But, if you find yourself to be somewhat of a natural at doing so, then why not work towards and earn yourself a Masters in Mental Health Counseling? Why not make a career out of the gift you have been given? By doing so, you would certainly have a job for life, because mental illness will never go away. And, you’d be able to truly help people day in, day out.
Physical pain isn’t the only health-based pain on this earth because mental health causes pain too, and those who suffer with mental health issues need serious help when it comes to beating their pain. Whether you’re qualified to or not, you can provide and be this help.