HealthMental Health

30 Things Your Friends Struggling With Mental Health Want You To Know

Ask Reddit wants you to know a few things about mental health.

29. People with personality disorders are not inherently abusive or bad, “crazy” people.

30. Talk about it. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among teenagers and young adults, so they are a big clientele to reach. But also middle-aged people are at high risk, especially men.

You can share articles that talk positively about mental illness and recovery, along with being active in foundations for suicide prevention like the AFSP in the US, the NSPA in UK or whichever it is in your country.

Most importantly, if you know someone who is feeling down or has suicidal thoughts, the best thing you can do to help is listen and ask directly “Do you have suicidal thoughts?”. This leaves them with a simple yes or no question, so they aren’t the one who have to “say it out loud”. Don’t panic when someone says “yes”! You can have suicidal thoughts without wanting to actively take your life,; they are a coping mechanism for underlying issues. If you think you can handle it, ask how persistent they are, if they can distance themselves from those thoughts or if they have a plan on how to take their life. Make sure to use the word “suicide” or any phrases without a negative connotation (see: “killing yourself”).

Don’t give advice: Just actively listen and comfort them in a way that doesn’t make them feel trivialized or judged. Staying away from any moral judgements (regarding their feelings) is very important! Also, you can offer to support them when they plan to get treatment, like accompanying them when going to the doctor, figuring out who to call and so on. There are also some chat or mail-based counseling options if speaking in person or on the phone is too much for them. TC mark

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