We all hit our rough patches when it comes to our mental health. However, strengthening your own mental health is one thing. What about when it’s someone else that you’re trying to help? If your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, you may be able to help. Here are a few strategies that are worth trying out. Remember, consulting a mental health professional is always recommended.
Come in with a plan
If someone is in crisis, you might want to rush to their aid, but you have to ask if you’re really prepared to provide the help that they need. You should take the time to prepared a wellness action recovery plan that can help you figure out what steps to take next. If you think that your loved one might be in danger of experiencing a mental health crisis, you can prepare this in advance.
Work with someone qualified
In a crisis situation, it’s important to know who is best equipped to help de-escalate it. If it’s a severely threatening crisis and someone is in a genuine life-threatening emergency, then calling the emergency services is essential, but it’s important to let the line operator know that it is a psychiatric emergency and that you need someone trained in crisis intervention. Otherwise, calling a crisis counselor to help you talk to your loved one can be helpful, especially if they are threatening any kind of self-harm. It can be intimidating to talk to someone like this when you’re going through a crisis, so staying and speaking with the counselor on the other line, even one speakerphone, can help to open the lines of communication.
Recommending the paths to healing
You shouldn’t try to force anyone into any kind of treatment, as they are more likely to try and buck out of it. However, you can recommend (with some force) what treatments you know, whether it’s therapy for severe anxiety, rehab for heroin abuse, or something else entirely. Do your research on the options that are out there and, when they’re ready to start looking at ways to do better, help them navigate what’s available.
Know your own limits
First of all, if you are in physical danger or being threatened by your loved one, you have to prioritize your safety. Otherwise, if you aim to offer help to your loved one, be sure to know what your boundaries are and make them clear. This can include times you’re available to talk, circumstances that might make you unavailable, methods you would prefer to be contacted, and so on. You need to establish your own boundaries so that you’re able to keep helping in the way that’s healthy for you, too.
You cannot force someone to accept the help that they are not ready to help. If your loved one is not willing to let you try any of the above, the best you can do is protect yourself from the fallout. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up. At some point, they may be able and willing to accept the help that they need.Category: The Morning Four Podcast
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