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How To Help a Friend Who Is Struggling With Mental Health

Mental health is a topic that should be discussed more often. While the stigma surrounding mental illness still exists, there have been significant conscious efforts toward spreading mental health awareness in recent years.

The problem is that while more and more people are becoming aware of mental health issues, they’re not always sure how to help someone struggling with them. If someone you love has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness, here are some ways to support them without making things worse.

Educate yourself.

The first step to helping someone with mental health is to educate yourself. Mental health is a serious issue, and it’s vital that you know the facts before approaching your friend or family member.

There are many types of mental health problems, so it’s helpful to understand how they differ. For example, some people experience depression while others deal with anxiety disorders—and each can affect the person differently in terms of severity and treatment options. When dealing with anyone struggling with these issues, ask them what their situation is so you can tailor your support accordingly!

As important as educating yourself on mental health is understanding that no two cases are ever exactly alike: every person has their own experiences and symptoms that make up their unique situation—so don’t assume anything about what your friend might be going through without asking first.

Understand that this isn’t your fault.

It can be hard to watch a friend struggle with mental illness, so it’s natural for you to want to help. But before you reach out, the first step is understanding that this isn’t your fault. A person’s mental health problems are not caused by someone else—they have nothing to do with how others treat them or what happened in their past.

It’s also important to understand that this isn’t a sign of rejection; if someone has a mental illness and you don’t want anything more than friendship from them, then they’ll probably appreciate knowing where they stand with you instead of trying (and failing) at something beyond your capabilities as friends together!

Listen, don’t offer advice.

When someone tells you they are struggling with mental health, don’t try to solve the problem.

Don’t judge them or make them feel worse.

Don’t offer advice, even if it seems like the best way to help—it will only make your friend feel like they aren’t good enough and that they should be fixed by someone else.

Don’t tell them what you would do or suggest solutions (like taking a break from work). This can make your friend defensive and cause conflict in your relationship.

Instead, listen and let them know that you care. Ask questions like “How are you feeling?” or “How can I help?” Then listen to their answer.

Encourage them to seek professional help.

Encourage your friend to seek professional help. Talking with a mental health professional can be an excellent way for your friend to gain support and work through their challenges. Today, with the option of online doctor appointments, it’s easier than ever to seek professional help.

When it comes to mental health treatment, there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan that works for everyone. Some people may find that medications help address their symptoms of depression or anxiety, while others prefer therapy and counseling as a route toward feeling better about themselves.

In many cases (but not all), the combination of medication and therapy can benefit individuals struggling with mental health. It’s important to remember that you should never pressure a friend into seeking any treatment they aren’t comfortable with—encourage them to talk through their options. Hence, they have the best chance of finding something that works for them!

Make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well.

When a friend struggles with mental health, we become so focused on helping them that we forget our needs. It’s crucial for you to take care of yourself as well because if you don’t, you won’t be able to help your friend as effectively.

Remember that you’re not a therapist. You won’t have answers to your friend’s questions, so don’t feel you have to give them advice or provide solutions for everything. Your job is to listen and be there for them when they need someone to talk to.


Helping a loved one struggling with mental health problems is perhaps the most beautiful and selfless thing you can do. It’s also a complex and challenging experience that requires a lot of patience and care on your part. But with the right approach, you’ll be able to provide them with much-needed support and encouragement as they face their own challenges head-on. Hopefully, this post will serve as a helpful guide to help you with this process. In the end, you’ll know that what you’ve done is nothing short of extraordinary—and it will make all the difference in your friend’s life.