Always remember to be kind when treating someone with mental illness, be it your friend, family member, or even your colleague. It is not their fault for what they have been going through and how they deal with their problem.
To be more specific, there are several things you might have to consider when it comes to supporting someone with depression, stress, or anything related to mental illness.
That is why we have made a list of do’s and don’ts that you should observe when treating someone
DO: Plan from the beginning
If you know someone going through a mental crisis, whenever you meet them, always know that once you show them your support, they will rely on you even more and will need more than your support.
This makes them even more vulnerable, so try to plan your intention from the beginning that you will support from the start to the end, be it during the therapist or their psychotic episode.
Don’t: Do anything without their consent
You can’t assume that if someone is going through, they can’t make their own decisions. They are ill and not disabled, always ask for their consent, and never make decisions without their permission.
Always remember if you do something extreme without their consent, it will traumatize them more. That is why when it comes to wellness or welfare checks and encounters with police officers, you should always ask them if they are comfortable opening up. Moreover, never force them to do something they are not comfortable doing.
DO: make boundaries for yourself
As mentioned above, people going through a mental crisis will rely on you more than you think if they accept your support. But it will only exhaust you if you overextend yourself into treating them.
Please don’t be rude, but make them understand that you are human with emotions. Though you may find it hard at first, you must set boundaries if you want your friend to overcome what they have been going through.
If you expect them to seek a higher level of care if things don’t improve, work together to determine what is best for you.
DON’T: Shame orBlame
When treating someone with mental illness, things will become frustrating when they don’t cooperate with you. This will tempt you to criticize them, which is when you must stop yourself.
Your love may not like going through therapy, using alcohol or drugs to cope, or making impulsive decisions that appear to be making things worse. But it’s okay; all you have to do is be patient and try to ask for their understanding with love and kindness. Never shame or blame them.
DO: step back when you feel like
Life happens, and it’s okay if you feel your friend or family won’t need your support anymore. You don’t have to throw your good deeds at them to make them feel guilty.
And if you feel like your personal boundaries are being pushed or disrespected, there is also a time when you take a step back.
Don’t: take things personal
No one is responsible for what they are going through, and their mental health crisis doesn’t define them in any way. If you belittle your friend or family, remember you only make them more guilty.
Moreover, there will be times when you feel like you are being taken advantage of or your friend is just using you. Well, you’re mistaken because it can be one of your friend or family’s ways to fight what is happening inside them.
That is why you should never take things personally!
As a human, you will have your low moments, and it is okay to experience them, but there is happiness in uplifting others that can’t be explained through words. However, we have an example of a person who has been through hell to back but uplifting women like her.
Meet Shay Sane
As a person who had lost her sisters, who took care of Shay when she was young when their mother abandoned them, she cannot bear the loss, and it went even worse when she became a single mom at just 16.
Shay decided to stop pitying herself and fight everything she had been through, which is when she turned to travel. She found traveling a healing process and making other women aware of it, she decides to found an organization.
Black Girls On The Go is a foundation created by Shay Sane that helps facilitate women during their traveling adventures; it was formed as a Facebook group in 2014, and now it has become one of the influential organizations that support their traveling tenures. To help them in their healing process.