It’s sometimes difficult to know what to do if you see a friend or family member struggling with their mental health. That’s why we’ve written this carefully considered blog post.
Our clients’ loved ones are among the most valuable resources available during treatment and recovery. This blog post will explore how helpful you can be to your loved ones in crisis, and how helpful you already are.
Mental health care and recovery is a slow process, so it can often feel like what you’re doing isn’t helping. It’s clear to us, though, that our clients’ loved ones are enormously helpful. So, in this blog post we will discuss how friends and families can have a positive impact on our clients’ treatment and recovery.
Spot when something isn’t quite right
Friends and family are often in the best position to identify early signs of someone having a hard time. It’s often those closest to our clients who first notice that something’s not right. One of the best things you can do if you see a friend or family member’s behaviour and mindset start to change is to simply ask how they’re doing.
Part of what makes Socium so different is that we include loved ones in our clients’ care. It’s always useful to get an outside perspective, and we’ve found that the insights our clients’ friends and family can provide are invaluable in helping to shape our treatment and care plans.
Help get the ball rolling
The hardest step to take is the first.
Not only can friends and family help identify when something’s wrong, but they can also be incredibly helpful when encouraging their loved ones to take the first step to recovery.
Many people in crisis find it difficult to advocate for themselves. Having the support and encouragement of loved ones can make it easier to seek help. If someone close to you is having a hard time, offering your help with making an appointment to see a doctor or clinician can make all the difference.
At Socium, we’ve found that including the loved ones of our clients in their care where appropriate improves outcomes.
Even something as simple as helping your loved one remember to take their medication can be a huge benefit. The involvement of loved ones in our clients’ care also helps us build a more complete picture of how treatment is progressing, and where our clients may need a little more help.
Many conditions can make it difficult for our clients to remember taking medication or keep appointments. Every piece of gentle encouragement is useful.
Support healthy living
A healthy lifestyle is a huge element of mental wellbeing, but sadly it can be one of the first things to fall by the wayside in times of crisis.
The loved ones of our clients are hugely helpful when it comes to the day-to-day. Exercise, for example, is possibly the single biggest natural aid to wellbeing. So why not take your loved one out for a run? Go swimming, get on your bikes or even just go for a walk; it’s amazing how much difference it can make.
There’s no need to specifically address your loved one’s mental health in this process; the improvements to wellbeing come naturally with time. Exercising is a great way to “recharge” the mental batteries and relieve pressure, giving your loved one something positive and external to focus on.
Be there for them
If you have a loved one facing challenges with their mental health, this is the most important tip we can give you.
Be there for them. It may not always feel this way, but you can be the most important element in your loved one’s recovery. Every little thing you do for them helps.
It’s important to recognise, however, that supporting a loved one through their illness is stressful. Recovery is a long process, and your loved ones don’t have to go through it alone.
That’s where we come in. Our Check-In service provides a weekly chat with one of our expert mental health nurses, creating a valuable checkpoint for progress and an opportunity to discuss our clients’ mindset.
Since we’ve launched Check-In, we’ve had enormous support from the family and friends of our clients, as well as our clients themselves. Check-In helps provide some of the same care that is often given by friends and family. This takes the pressure off, improving outcomes for everyone.
What should I look out for?
We’ve compiled a brief list of some of the more common signs that a friend or family member may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
- They seem to lose interest in hobbies and activities they used to enjoy.
- They’re quicker to anger, or they seem more upset than usual.
- They mention having unsettling thoughts or hearing strange voices.
- They withdraw from contact without a clear reason, not getting in touch as much as they used to.
- They have been drinking heavily or using drugs.
- Their sleeping and/or eating patterns have changed.
- They seem more anxious or frightened of situations they used to enjoy.
- They miss more time from work or school.
If you or one of your loved ones is going through a crisis, you’re not alone. For urgent crises, the NHS provide free Mental Health Helplines throughout the UK.
Please see the link below to seek urgent help for you or a loved one.
Socium is here to help you and your loved ones through recovery, helping you navigate treatment and build an effective care plan.
Get in touch with our team today on 0203 384 0007 to discuss how we can help.