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5 Ways to Be Supportive When Someone is Struggling With Mental Health

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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We’ve seen it before, feeling helpless while someone is dealing with a lot of struggles. It can be hard having to just sit there and watch. But you don’t have to do this. You  can show your support. While you can’t always outright solve problems, you can at least do something to help. Showing support, even just cheering someone on, can do so much. So, whether it’s a friend, coworker, family member, child, or spouse, here are some ways that you can show your love and support!

Be A Good Listener


The most important thing you can do is listen to the struggling person. Having them vent can do a lot of good. Rather than asking, “What’s wrong?” ask, “How are you feeling today? Do you need some help?” A lot of the time, people feel overwhelmed by their daily tasks. Offering to do things like babysit, cook meals or do a grocery run can be a great way for you to show you care. You can’t take care of everything, but helping and listening can do a lot! Overall, be a good listener, and don’t give advice unless asked. Sometimes, venting is going to be more than enough for some.


Don’t Criticize


Whether you’re dealing with your own mental health problems or the ones of someone close to you, it’s important not to criticize them. Instead, you need to ask them what they’re going through, as this will allow you to try and understand it better. This is especially crucial when it comes to people who are struggling with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. 

It’s often hard for them to talk about their struggles, so it’s important to listen to them without trying to be helpful or minimize their situation. Don’t tell them what they should do or what they shouldn’t do. You’re not helping when you do that.


Offer Your Help


Whether you’re offering reassurance or tangible support, it’s important to let the person struggling with their mental health know they aren’t alone. Offer to help them by doing a grocery or drugstore run, preparing a meal for them, or taking them to their doctor’s appointments. All of these little things can add up. 

Plus, if they’re needing to go through different types of treatment then they can count on you to be there to help. Plus, this is going to let them know that you’re reliable and they can depend on you during tough times. Needless to say, a little goes a long way when someone is struggling. Just make sure you don’t push help on them if they’ve politely declined already.


Cheer Them On


One way to cheer someone up when they are struggling with mental health is to show them that you care. Whether it is a simple text or a random Facetime chat, letting them know that you care about them and are there for them will go a long way. It’s also important to remember that depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are treatable conditions.

Many people recover from their illnesses and are able to lead productive lives with meaningful roles in work, school, and caregiving. It’s natural to want to cheer someone up when they are feeling low. However, it’s important to be strategic about the ways that you do so. Just create a balance of giving love and support, but make sure you’re not being pushy.


Encourage them to Seek Help


Not everyone is going to openly seek mental health support. While they may turn to loved ones, they may not turn to professionals for help. There is a stigma surrounding mental health, and many people are afraid to get help. They may fear that they will be judged or that their family or friends might think differently of them. Offer unconditional support is the best way to encourage someone to seek help. This means helping them find a therapist or treatment plan that works for them.

Alternatively, you can share your own experiences with mental health conditions to show that you understand what they are going through. Why not remind them that their illness does not define them and that they are just as valuable as anyone else? This can give them confidence that they are not alone in their struggle and can motivate them to get help for themselves. There’s nothing wrong with getting help from a professional; make sure they know this. 


Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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34 thoughts on “5 Ways to Be Supportive When Someone is Struggling With Mental Health”

  1. Jennifer L Prince

    Encouraging someone to seek help is important. Often we listen and hope things will get better, but seeking help is really a step some need to take.

  2. All those are the interesting points there and self care includes mental and behavioral health. Keeping an eye out for those can be helpful when someone needs it.

  3. Great article! It’s so important to know how to support someone who is struggling with their mental health, and these tips are very helpful. Being a good listener, offering help, not being judgmental, and encouraging them to seek professional support are all great ways to show your love and support. And most importantly, not criticizing, but instead cheering them on can make a huge difference. Thank you for sharing these valuable insights!

  4. It might take time for someone’s mental health to improve, and some of us may need professional help, but there are ways to help and support someone to get back to positive mental health. Great tips here.

  5. Many of us experience mental health problems at some time and I want to be able to help anyone. Thanks for the tips.

  6. These are all great ways we can do to support someone you know who might be struggling with their mental health. Thank you for sharing them.

  7. These are great tips! For me, understanding and listening to them is the best way that we can give to the person who struggles with his/her mental health.

  8. Love these ideas and they can be extremely helpful to someone who is going through some things or stuggling.

  9. All of these tips for supporting others who are struggling mentally are quite useful. I will keep these in mind and am encouraged to call a few people I know who are dealing with issues.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.