Do's and Don'ts While Talking About Mental Health
Create A Safe Space
It’s important that a parent let their child know they are not alone in this situation and be willing to listen and help them in any way possible.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions! As a parent, it’s good to ask your child questions about why they feel a certain way and how you can help. Of course, they won’t expect you to understand all the nitty-gritty about what they’re going through, but asking questions shows that you genuinely care about their symptoms and feelings.
Encourage them to seek help
Your loved one may be aware that they need help, but may be afraid to seek it if they think you will judge or treat them. Therefore, offering to support and constantly reminding them that mental health problems are treatable, so they don’t have to feel this way forever. Visit https://www.nami.org/Home for more info!
Help out with daily tasks
Living with a mental illness can be a big challenge on a daily basis. Even the simplest task can sometimes feel extremely difficult to accomplish. You can start by helping them wash a few dishes, take out the garbage, or organize their bedroom. Any small act of kindness can really help and will be appreciated!
Try to diagnose
Don’t make assumptions about your child’s mental illness or jump in too quickly with your own diagnosis and solutions, based on how they act and feel. While you may want to offer support, but it's always better to leave it to a medical expert or trained counselor.
Make decisions without their consent
Whenever possible, show your child that you are here to help, but don’t take control and start making decisions for them. You don’t know how these things will impact them, so always respect their boundaries and feelings.
Shame or criticize
It can be tempting to judge our loved ones when they aren’t making the choices that we ourselves would make. However, learning to extend your support will do a lot more than criticizing the ways your child chooses to cope with their illness.