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Support loved ones during tough times

Learning to listen an important first step

Stock photo.
Stock photo.
Image: 123RF

Receiving support and care from our loved ones during tough times can make a huge difference and bring us the comfort we need.

In the same way, it’s good to know how to support those in our lives when they experience challenges regarding their mental health.

Here are some tips from psychologist Lwanele Khasu on how you can give your loved ones the necessary support.

Stay aware and observant

You need to be aware enough to notice changes in those around you.

Are they suddenly eating too much or too little?

Do they have drastic changes in their sleeping patterns?

Mental health disorders may present themselves slightly differently in different individuals so it is important to pay attention and be observant.

Learn to listen

It is important to listen carefully to what the people in your life tell you.

Ensure that you have understood what they are saying and refrain from judging them.

If an individual has already been diagnosed, hold space for them and allow them to let you in on their experience.

Do not assume that you know everything that’s going on with them.

Know when to get additional help

While your intentions may be pure and your will to assist may be strong, some situations may be beyond your control.

Know when to include a third party (such as a psychologist) who is more experienced to deal with the situation and assist the person.

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