Did you know that most mental health difficulties surface before an individual is 18, and 50% of all mental health difficulties appear before age 14?
Tomorrow, is this years 'Time to Talk' day which is run by Mind, and Rethink Mental Illness. We will be supporting one of our local collages this year by being available to their students during their event. Mental health difficulties, like many other health difficulties, are not picky about who they affect, and there is research which suggests we will all suffer with a mental health difficulty at some point during the course of our lives. Scary thought huh?
How about some good news: many individuals, can be successfully supported by those around them, often without the need for intensive psychological, psychiatric or pharmological treatment?
(and a little more bad news...) Unfortunately, because there is still a lot of stigma attached to developing a mental health difficulty, and many people do not know how to support their friends or families, often those who are struggling end up becoming very, very ill.
(some more good news...) There are many things that people can do to help a young person who is struggling, and the one which can make a massive difference is free... All you need to do is listen, without judgement, and be there for them when they need you. Don't try to get them to do anything when they are not ready - no one recovers until they are committed to do so, and pushing someone before this time, can seriously damage your relationship. On the surface this may seem really easy - trust me, it really isn't. We all want the best for our friends, and families and instinctively offer advice - but by becoming an active listener you are able to understand how they are feeling, and will be able to gauge where they are in their recovery journey. It can seem as though you're not really doing anything but it is 100% worth your time, and theirs. Everyone recovers at different rates, and needs different types, and levels of support, but research suggests individuals are more likely to recover if they have a network of social support. You 'just' listening may be the difference between someone who seeks help, and someone who struggles alone.
If you are unsure how to support someone you know and love, why not get in touch. We offer advice, and support to friends and families so that you are able to understand their difficulties, and how to help without being 'pushy'.