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Mental Health Awareness Month - How to Support a Loved One

May 24, 2022

Alyson Kuroski-Mazzei, DO, MRO, DFAPA

CEO & Chief Medical Officer 

Mental Health Awareness Month Tips 

Mental illness impacts millions of Americans each year. During Mental Health Awareness Month in May we are offering helpful tips on how to support someone struggling with their mental health.

Mental Health Crisis in the US

With more then twenty percent of Americans living with mental illness coupled with an increase in mental health struggles during the pandemic, many people are in need of support. While mental health issues can be overwhelming for individuals and their loved ones, there are helpful communication techniques to let those experiencing mental illness know that they are not alone and are supported and heard.

How Many Adults Suffer From a Mental Health Condition? 

Studies show that nearly one in five adults in the U.S. experience psychiatric illnesses and depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. Research also shows that 56 percent of American adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment due to lack of access to care. In addition, stigma prevents people from seeking the help they need. 

HopeWay's 5 Tips on How to Support Someone Struggling With Their Mental Health

  • Take time to ask the person how they are doing.

  • Use "I" statements when expressing concern. For example, "I am worried about you" or "I have noticed you socializing less."

  • Use active listening when talking to the person.

    • Make eye contact.

    • Use supportive facial expressions.

    • Give them your full attention; do not multitask.

    • Listen to understand, rather than to respond. You are there to support the individual and encourage them to access professional help. 

  • Take the person seriously, especially if safety concerns arise.

  • Connect the person with appropriate mental health resources. HopeWay is a premier resource for people not only in the Charlotte community, but across the nation. HopeWay: 1-844-HOPEWAY. Another resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Why is Mental Health Awareness Month Important? 

Mental Health Awareness Month is a great opportunity to come together to combat the continued stigma of mental health issues, reduce the disparities in access to health care, take care of ourselves and others, and inspire mental wellness for all. 

 

Learn More About Mental Health Treatment

 

Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.