Mental Health Series: Supporting Your Loved Ones

Whether you have a loved one who is suffering from a mental illness or you are personally dealing with one yourself, wants to help. There are understandable challenges a family may face when dealing with mental illness, and it is important to provide support and to help navigate families to the resources they may need. In conjunction with National Mental Health Month observed in May, wants to help keep you informed on the importance of being stigma free.

In our continuing series about mental health, we last shared an article about managing stress.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime, and the rest of Americans are already affected one way or another by family members, friends, others around them. It is important to take action to help others fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for equal care. By using these steps listed below, you can help with making society stigma free and also help a loved one simultaneously:

  1. Educate yourself: Educating yourself on the type of mental illnesses and symptoms of such illnesses is an important way to ensure you can identify the signs of a loved one in need and help ensure they get the proper help as soon as possible.
  2. Offer your support: When noticing the signs of a loved one in need, it is important to let that individual know that you are there for them and that they have your support during this tough time. Studies show, those suffering from mental health issues are more likely to seek help when friends or family are showing their support for them during their rough time. It is also important to be patient and understanding, while also offering your time and company to your loved one.
  3. Become an advocate: By doing the proper research on mental illness, you can be a voice for those with these conditions and help dispel stereotypes. You can also help to stop the continuation of stigmas about mental illness to those who do not know much about it. By becoming an advocate, you can help educate others on what it means to be stigma free and how to support those with mental illnesses. understands the enormous challenges faced by those with mental illness and their loved ones and realize how hard it is to seek help. There are many resources available that are free and online. For more information on health care benefits, counseling, mental health services, and more, take our Benefit Finder questionnaire to see which of the 1,200 benefits from over 20 different categories you may be eligible to receive.