Unique ID: SCYW0078 Caption: Female Personal Assistant and Female Manager with another woman staff member. Three women sitting around a table. Supported working. Care Sector workforce. Staff training and development. Review. Meeting. Restrictions: NHS Photo Library - for use in NHS, local authority Social Care services and Department of Health material only Copyright: ©Crown Copyright

Currently, society, in general, tends to approach the topic of mental health with much more kindness and understanding than ever before. With more resources available to those suffering from a mental health condition, getting help is possible in most circumstances.

That being said, going through the struggles associated with mental health is never easy. It requires a great deal of support to get to a place where you are able to cope with things and manage symptoms. If you know someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis, you might be wondering just what you can do to support them through things.

Acting as support for someone who is going through a mental health crisis can be difficult. With the right approach, however, you can help a loved one navigate an emotional and stressful time in their life. Here are a few tips to help you do just that so you can assist your friend or loved one who is struggling with their mental health.

Educate Yourself

The first thing that you will want to do when you learn that a close friend or loved one is going through something related to their mental health is learn as much as possible. You won’t be able to know exactly what they are going through but having a bit of insight into their condition can go a long way to offering them the support that they need.

For instance, if your friend or loved one has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, understanding how this condition differs from other mental health conditions can help you to meet them where they are at in their crisis. It will also help you to establish healthy boundaries when it comes to your involvement in the matter.

Set Boundaries

When a friend or loved one has a mental health condition, you might feel compelled to get incredibly involved and be there no matter what they ask of you. However, sometimes offering the best support means knowing where to draw the line when it comes to boundaries.

Only a qualified mental health professional will be able to offer true treatment for their condition. While you are there to support them through this crisis, you need to know your limitations and understand who to call when someone is having a mental breakdown and when professional help is needed.

Learn to Listen

Oftentimes, the best way to support someone through their mental health struggles is to listen to them without judgment. Even if you go into a conversation without the intention of judging the situation, it can be difficult to keep your opinions and judgments to yourself. 

To avoid this, make sure that you continue to remind yourself that mental health conditions are tricky things. You never know how one will feel until you have been there yourself. Even then, your experiences will be unique to you. Learn how to listen without inputting your judgments to give your friend the space they need to get things off their chest.