4 MIN READ | Mental Health

How to Encourage Someone to Seek Mental Help

Dennis Relojo-Howell

Cite This
Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2020, January 5). How to Encourage Someone to Seek Mental Help. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/how-to-encourage-someone-to-seek-mental-help/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 587 views

If you happen to be a relative, friend or acquaintance of an individual who is having not so good time and needs help then it could be a thoroughly uphill task to persuade them for help. Especially when the issues are related to mental concerns, it could be an even more serious scenario as it tends to impact every one in four adults and hence, the need to seek special treatment is the key.

Even though therapeutic and other certain treatments have been fairly popular due to decent success ratio, at the same time, less than one-third of patients seek their assistance which only worsens the issue.

So, if your loved one is going through the same psychological discomfort and is in a position where they need help, the following tips could prove vital for convincing them.

Offer your support

It is a dilemma of our society that there are a lot of misconceptions about mental health and going to a psychiatrist or other professionals for seeking help has almost become a taboo. Similarly, if you know someone who can be helped, the ideal thing to start with is to be supportive and avoid any disgraceful or derogatory remarks while talking.

Try to make them realise that the situation is purely normal and you are in a position to offer the support. The patient is certain to be in an exhausted and tough mental state, but what needs to be done is to approach them cautiously but in a way that their self-esteem remains intact.

Even plenty of celebrities have expressed their mental difficulties and asserted the emphasis on the need to have supportive roles in the family and surrounding to get started toward the cure.

Consider time and space

This is an important factor as you simply cannot approach someone and start talking about their mental struggles. There is a need to find the appropriate time and environment before commencing such a conversation. The ideal practice is to avoid this type of talk when the patient is surrounded by other people as they might not like this sort of question in front of everyone.

Also, they could be having privacy issues and avoid disclosing the problem in front of everyone. Similarly, it might not be a great idea to show sympathy and start counselling about the mental problem when the potential patient is not in a good because they will hardly even listen or realise the importance of what you have to say. Waiting for the right time and space is critical to achieving the most effective result of the entire conversation.

Recommend readings

Cordially face the resistance

It is obvious that when you are identifying the problem and trying to sort out a solution, the patient might not be so welcoming and refuse the existence of the issue. In such situations, be prepared to face all of it with sheer courage as it is quite a normal thing to face the resilience at starts.

Be methodological and go step-by-step in this regard, where you could use your relationship with the patient to show them how much do you care and adore them. Another approach is to count the positive qualities in their personality so that they get motivated and be willing to respond to the matter.

While it is easier to engage someone with you when you point out their commendable qualities, however, at the same time you could take the advantage of situations and mention the situations which are bringing about the problematic behaviour along with the solution.

Avoid judgemental behaviour

It is the most counterproductive practice that is undertaken by a lot of people intentionally or unintentionally. It is so because once you start judging or pointing out negativities about the behavior of the patient, they will start having negative vibes from you and you may end up losing the warmness of relation with them.

Try to use emphatic behavior and adopt a flattering approach so that you can achieve the whole purpose of getting into this sort of conversation. The affected person will try to be defensive about their position due to their lack of understanding of the scenario, but you need to be a step ahead of them and sympathetically put it in their comprehension that there is something seriously wrong and importance of seeking mental help in this regard.

Learn about the condition

If you are going to someone who is facing mental stress and you want to help them in seeking help but you have no idea even about the basics of it then you stand no chance to have listened at all. A stressed individual might even not know that they are going through a delicate problem, so in this case, you can show them a list of symptoms that are well researched and tend to match with their habits. In addition to that, you could also share your positive experience with mental therapy or if you do not have a personal experience, you could refer to someone who may have had it in the past.

Ensure tolerance

It is crucial to be tolerant of a patient who is affected by mental distress and is unwilling to agree for mental help or treatment. Understand the fact that not only humans but even the patients could take their time before they confess and be open about the disorder in front of you. Once they have agreed, the second step is of advance nature where you will need to find the right consultant or professional as per the specific needs of the patient in your certain case.

Understand your limits

It is immense to understand and define your limits and role because at the end of the day you are not a medical professional or health expert. So, in the case when you realise that the problem is of serious nature or could lead to a medical emergency, then your utmost priority should be to take the action to ensure safety.

***

Image credit: Freepik


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He is also the editor-in-chief of Psychreg Journal Psychology, and writes a weekly column for Free Malaysia Today

VIEW AUTHOR’S PROFILE


Disclaimer: Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only. Materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer here

Copy link