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Supporting a Friend with Mental Health Issues in NYC

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Mental health issues are actually more common than people might think. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience some form of illness each year. How can I help a depressed friend facing mental health challenges? If you have a friend who is dealing with a health issue you might be wondering how to offer them support. It can be challenging to find the words or actions when a friend is going through a time but simply being there, for them means a lot. Mental health issues can be resolved together, here are some tips on how to help a friend in depression and or other mental health concerns.

Tips for supporting a friend with mental health issues in NYC

  1. Educate Yourself. One way to support a friend who is dealing with health challenges is by educating yourself about their condition. It’s important to learn about the symptoms, causes, and available treatments connected to their illness so that you can better understand their experiences and offer them the support they may need. 
  2. Listen Without Judgment. Supporting a friend with health challenges involves listening to them without passing judgment. It’s crucial when learning how to help a friend in depression, to communicate your willingness to be there for them and provide support. Refrain from giving advice or forming opinions about their emotions or experiences. Simply having a listener can significantly impact someone coping with an illness.
  3. Offer Practical Help. If your friend is going through health challenges they might face difficulty in handling day to day responsibilities. You can lend a hand by assisting with tasks like grocery shopping, cooking or tidying up. In case your friend is having a time, you may also consider offering to provide transportation for appointments or help with running errands, on their behalf.
  1. Check in on them. Being there for a friend who is dealing with mental health issues is incredibly important. Letting them know that you genuinely care about their well being and are available to listen can make a difference. It’s crucial when you help a friend in depression to remember that they might struggle to express their needs at times. They might feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed and may not be able to ask for assistance. 
  2. Avoid Stigmatizing Language. The way we discuss illness can greatly influence our perception of it. When asking “how to deal with depressed friends?” be cautious about your choice of words. It’s important to avoid using language that perpetuates stigma or makes assumptions about individuals dealing with health challenges. Instead, use person-first language that puts the person before their illness. For example, say “a person with depression” rather than “a depressed person.” Learning how to help a friend in depression by avoiding stigmatizing language by empathizing with your friend’s experience and perspective of their mental health concerns. 
  3. Encourage them to seek professional help. Encourage your friend to connect with someone who specializes in their condition and whom they feel comfortable talking to. Additionally you can assist your friend in navigating the healthcare system, which can be overwhelming. Offer to assist them in finding a provider, scheduling an appointment or even accompany them during their visit. If your friend is hesitant about seeking help, it’s essential to continue providing your support and urging them to prioritize their well being. Remind them that seeking assistance demonstrates strength, rather than weakness and that they deserve to feel better.
  4. Take care of yourself. Supporting a friend who is dealing with health challenges can be quite demanding emotionally. Therefore, It’s crucial to prioritize your well being both physically and emotionally when deciding to learn how to help a friend in depression. Make certain that you are getting rest, maintaining a diet and engaging in regular exercise. Whenever you find yourself needing a break, do not hesitate to take one and focus on self care activities that recharge your energy such as: meditation, practicing yoga or spending quality time with your loved ones. Additionally it is essential to establish boundaries with your friend. While being there for them is important it is equally important to ensure that you are taking care of yourself too. Be honest with your friend about what support you can provide and express your needs as well. Lastly, always remember that you are not alone in this journey. 

NYC psychotherapy can help you help a friend in depression!

Supporting a friend who is dealing with mental health challenges can be quite difficult. Utilizing these tips on how to help a friend in depression, can help guide a friend in their time of need of support. If you or someone close to you is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and requires professional support, our team of therapists at Uncover Mental Health Counseling is available to lend a helping hand. Get in touch with us today!

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