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Conversations About Mental Health

Today, I am writing you all from the perspective of dealing with a loved one who is struggling with their mental health.

For a while, I was very naive in my thinking on how to address mental health issues within a close relative. My way of addressing it was pretending it wasn't a real thing and offer tons of advice on how to further yourself in life. Cause success=happiness right?

I always had this idea that everyone would be fine if they just worked hard and made some money so they can do what they want. Can you imagine hearing that nonsense while struggling to just get out of bed in the morning? Working hard will not magically cure my relative's depression. I was being complicit and turning into one of the people who like to sweep mental health problems under the rug. I've evolved past that and will continue to educate myself.

If you really love someone you have to understand that you are two different people. Just because something works for you, doesn't mean it works for the other person. Especially, if that person is struggling with their mental health. If the relationship means something to you then you have to be willing to depersonalize the situation. If you want to help don't make it about you!

Here are a few tips I found helpful and hopefully will spark something within you if you're dealing with a loved one who is struggling with their mental health:

  1. Ask twice

  2. Ask open questions

  3. Keep conversations small and informal

  4. Help them see they're not alone

  5. Don't try and fix it, just listen well

  6. Depersonalize the situation

  7. Be knowledgeable about the support services available

  8. Keep the conversation going

As I continue to work on my relationship with my relative, I wish you all the best in this fall season. I hope this encourages you to handle people with care.

With Love,

Commander Cleo

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