It’s distressing to see someone you love going through a difficult time. We all want what’s best for those close to us, and it hurts to see them struggling. It’s hard to know how bad things are, or what we can do to help. On top of that, you’ve got your own life to think about.

This blog post addresses these dilemmas, suggesting five ways to offer help. It includes things to look out for, things to avoid, and how you can look for professional support.

1.    Get to know the warning signs

You know your loved ones. If they’re having a hard time, chances are you’ll get a sense that something is ‘off’. Still, it’s useful to be aware of some of the common warning signs. There are many patterns of behaviour that may be symptoms of wider mental health difficulties.

Among others, these include withdrawal from social activity, significant changes in mood or behaviour, loss of appetite, trouble with sleeping, or an unusual drop in everyday functioning. It’s important to be aware that these are just potential symptoms. Not everyone exhibiting these behaviours needs mental health care, and not everyone in need of mental health care exhibits these behaviours. But these are common indicators that are worth looking out for if you are concerned.

2.    Reach out

It could be that someone is in serious need of support, but doesn’t know how to ask. It’s OK to broach the subject with them. A simple “are you OK?” goes a long way. Hiding our mental health challenges is a significant burden. It can really help just to let someone know that you care and you’re there for them. The key is to encourage someone to open up.

3.    Provide emotional support

Study after study shows how important our support networks are to mental health care. Some people need professional support, but even the most comprehensive care makes room for friends and family. They give us stability, comfort and love, keeping us rooted in place and connected with the world outside the professional care environment.

You don’t have to do it all yourself, but try to be part of that support. It will comfort them to know that you’re there.

4.    Don’t diagnose

As a society, we’re more open and knowledgeable than ever before when it comes to mental health. We’ve got a way to go, but this is huge progress. If there’s less stigma and more openness, it means more people will take that vital step of seeking support.

However, sometimes the increased visibility of mental health can lead people to act like experts and ‘diagnose’ others informally. However well-meaning, it’s best to avoid this, especially with someone who’s having a hard time. Not only does it risk upsetting them, but it can mislead as well. Clinical assessment is a specialised professional skill. There’s so much that you can do to help. But, at the risk of seeming blunt, diagnosis really is best left to trained experts.

5.     Help them find the help they need

We’ve said it already and we’ll keep saying it: when it comes to mental health challenges, family and friends are hugely important to the recovery process. But it’s important to recognise that there are times when professional support is needed. Care takes time, and assessment takes expertise. If your loved one is really struggling, it makes a lot of sense to look for expert help.

At Socium, we will work with you to provide that. We’re a private mental health care provider offering a range of services from assessments to comprehensive live-in care. We understand the dilemmas and doubts you may feel when you’re considering seeking professional support for someone you love. A one-off assessment from our expert team may help to clarify matters for you and your loved one.

Is private mental health care worth it?

There’s a lot of choice out there, from the public sector and charities to private care. It isn’t easy to decide where to turn, and we understand that. Our team has extensive experience in both the NHS and private sector, so we’ve seen these dilemmas close up.

There are many great charities out there, but there are limits to what they can do. The NHS also has to work under budgetary constraints that limit what it can do. There are significant waiting times for NHS services, which have only grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some things can’t wait.

This is where private care helps. We have the means to cut out waiting times, and the resources to offer comprehensive support. Quite simply, private care gives you what you need when you need it.

How Socium can help

At Socium, we also understand the financial concerns that people feel in this situation. That’s why we believe in offering affordable private mental health care. The first step is an assessment from one an experienced Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN). This takes an hour-and-a-half, and is an important stage in understanding what you need next. We can do this in person, or by video call.

Our new Check-in service is a reasonably priced subscription option, giving your loved one a weekly call with an experienced Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN). The RMN will make regular reports, and update everyone else involved in the care process. This makes them a single point of contact, relieving family of some of the most time-consuming and stressful aspects of care.

This complements our most comprehensive service, which is full-time live-in care. An RMN will be based in your loved one’s home, up to 24 hours per day. This means full professional care is on hand at all times, providing the constant care of inpatient care without the disruption.

Whatever we do, we’ll always involve you as much as you need. We know it’s worrying to see someone you care about struggling. But there are ways to guide them towards health and happiness.

If you’ve got any questions or want more information, you can use our contact page to get in touch. Alternatively, you can just call us on +44 203 384 0007