How to Talk to a Loved One About Mental Health

When a loved one has a psychiatric disorder, it’s a challenge for the whole family: parents, siblings, friends and relatives. The willingness to come together as a unit, accept the diagnosis, look for help, go beyond criticism, blame and judgment will not guarantee recovery, but it makes it far more likely.  Denial and disapproval will only worsen the situation.

Family support is vital to recovery and consequences and challenges can result when parents, relatives and friends refuse to accept the illness or worse ostracize the individual who is struggling.

One tip to support a loved one with mental is to start dialogues, not debates. If your family member doesn’t agree she or he has an illness, talk about it; find out why. Listen without trying to change them or their mind. Forget the power struggle. Focus on building trust and rapport.

Read the complete Psychology today article "How to Help a Loved One with a Mental Illness" here.