You magazine, the popular Mail on Sunday supplement, looked at the difficult issue of what to say to a friend who is struggling with mental health issues.
The article featured expert advice from Chloe Ward, Technician at Smart TMS, the UK’s leading mental health clinic specialising in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy.
What to say to a friend who’s struggling with their mental health
Mental health issues are common, affecting approximately 1 in 4 of the UK population every year.
Supporting a friend or family member is important, but simply talking can be challenging.
Smart TMS Technician, Chloe, told You magazine:
“Sometimes venting or talking about how and what they are feeling can make it a little bit better, even if just temporarily.
“The long-term positive effects from asking ‘do you need to talk?’ will be that they will know you are there for them and that they will feel supported.”
A person’s progress and recovery can be helped or hindered by the reaction of those around them.
What Not to Say
There are certain phrases which may be well-meant but can be quite difficult for the person who is already struggling with mental health.
Chloe listed a few things NOT to say:
- ‘Get yourself together’ – mental health problems are not the person’s own fault and there’s no need for them to feel shame
- ‘I get it, I have bad days too’ – this attempt to empathise may just serve to minimise the pain and difficulty
- ‘You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself’ – this could make somebody feel that they are a burden or exaggerating their emotions
- ‘What have you got to be down about, you have everything a person could want, a family, a job, a home’ – a person may be outwardly successful, but no one knows what is happening on the inside.
- ‘Everything is going to be fine’ – this is not constructive
- ‘We should catch up some time’ – good intentions are not as helpful as actually meeting up and supporting someone consistently
What to Say
Chloe suggested more helpful things to say:
- ‘Are you okay?’ – simple yet effective. Can follow with ‘is there anything I can do to help?’
- ‘Let’s have a night in’
- ‘Tell me about how you’re feeling’ – friendly and empathetic but not patronising or pressured
- ‘Give me a call if you ever need to chat – day or night’ – letting them know you are there for them
- ‘Can I cook you dinner tonight?’ – simple, practical and constructive
- ‘You are not in this alone’ – strong support network is key
As the feature says, sometimes, the littlest words make the biggest difference.
Seek Help for Mental Health Concerns
The article concludes that it is really important to encourage people struggling with mental health issues to seek professional help via the GP. As a concerned friend or family member, you can contact Samaritans or Mind for advice.
Read In Full
Read the feature in full at https://www.you.co.uk/what-to-say-to-someone-struggling-with-mental-health/
Chloe Ward, TMS Technician
Chloe is a member of the Smart TMS team of technicians. She has excellent Psychology qualifications and credentials including a BSc in psychology and an MSc in Counselling Psychology.
Prior to working at Smart TMS, her experience included working for the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust and Mind, as well as a local pregnancy help counselling organisation.
Chloe is based at Smart TMS Birmingham, where she enjoys delivering TMS treatment and helping patients on their journey to recovery.
Private rTMS for Depression Treatment
Additionally, there is clinical evidence for a variety of further potential treatment applications including: addictions (alcohol, cocaine, meth, nicotine, gambling) as well as DPD (Depersonalisation Disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), BPD (borderline personality disorder).
The treatment is now available for private patients at Smart TMS, a specialist provider of the innovative treatment with an expanding network of locations around the UK and Ireland including:
For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:
Tel: 0345 222 5678