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Graphic Illustrates 8 Ways To Check In With a Friend Struggling With Their Mental Health

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Mental health struggles can be isolating.

Whether it be anxiety or depression, for example, it’s hard to reach out, especially if you don’t feel or know that you have the safety to do so or if you aren’t sure if you need to in the first place.

Your brain can make you feel as though you’re a burden, convincing you that it’s better to keep things to yourself instead of seeking support and resources. For loved ones, you may see your loved ones struggling but not know how to reach out.

I’ve been on both sides of this situation, as the one struggling and not being able to ask for help and the loved one not knowing what my friend or family member needed to support them through their tough time.

This graphic from BelievePerform (@BelievePHQ), a U.K.-based group focused on mental health and wellness, does a great job at walking you through ways to be supportive and check in with those you love.

Keeping in regular contact can be difficult as your loved one may not have the mental or emotional capacity for regular conversation and that’s OK! Something as simple as sending them memes you think that they’d enjoy or things that reminded you of them without the pressure of expecting profound responses goes a long way.

Check and see how they are, ask if they’ve eaten, hydrated themselves and/or taken their medication. Depending on how much they’re struggling, these are things that can easily fall by the wayside when unable to find motivation. If you can, offer to see if there’s anything you can do for them like cook a meal or bring food, clean up around their space or run errands for them.

When things got really bad for me, my friends came over and cleaned my house because I was struggling so much with simple tasks like taking care of myself. They brought smiles and laughter and my space didn’t feel like it was closing in on me anymore.

Other friends were messaging me regularly to tell me that I was loved and simple check-ins to ask if I’d taken care of myself. Not everyone needs these types of reminders but there are a lot of people who do.

Let your loved ones know you are there for them in whatever capacity works best for them, whether it be inviting them out, sharing your own experiences or simply investing time in chatting about the things going on in their life in general. Sometimes you just need an escape so inviting your loved one to talk about their interests can be a perfect way to be there for them without any pressure.

Header image via BelivePerform/Twitter

Originally published: February 17, 2021
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