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Approaching a loved one who is struggling through mental health difficulties can be intimidating. These are 5 of the easiest, most important steps you need to keep in mind.

Educate Yourself First: This is the first thing you should do because the last thing you want to do is approach someone from an entirely uneducated point of view. Without awareness and education about mental health or a specific mental health condition, your language could be littered with shaming, stigmatizing phrases that can be hurtful. If your loved one is in a good place, they will understand. If they are fresh in their journey, saying the wrong thing could be a trigger they aren’t yet capable of dealing with. Get a foundation of understanding for yourself and then remain curious. Ask your loved one how they are and what their experience is: Once you have educated yourself, make sure to remain humble and curious. Though there are many generalities and commonalities in the way people experience their mental health struggles, there are difference. Everyone has a story that is completely unique to them. How they feel, what they think, what they interpret, and how they cope is completely individual. What you might read online in one person’s account may not be the experience your loved one is having. Ask them what their experience is and how. Explore options for treatment together: Not everyone is in need of going to a residential inpatient treatment program or any kind of structured program. Some people can recover through their mental health by making lifestyle changes and going to therapy. Once you have gained an understanding of your loved one’s experience, you have a better idea of what they might need for support. Together, you can explore the different options for treatment and make a decision about which avenue to go down together. Remind them that there is nothing wrong with their experience: Recent studies have suggested that most adults will go through a mental health struggle at some point in their adult life. It is more common to experience a mental health struggle than it is to not experience a mental health struggle. Have a tremendous amount of compassion: You might not be able to identify with what your loved one is going through. You can, however, recall some of your own struggles and remember how it feels to struggle. Remember that your loved one is not their mental health struggle. With treatment, therapy, and time, they can grow beyond their current circumstances to find peace and balance again.

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health as a result of trauma, there is help available. Call The Guest House Ocala for information on our private residential treatment programs: 1-855-483-7800