If You Want to Offer Treatment to a Loved One, Read This First

Date Icon Publish Date

Last Updated on May 31, 2021 by

The lack of awareness of mental health is largely due to humanity’s self-imposed silence, telling significant others about one’s own problems can feel like coming out of the closet. How about the other way around? What if the person in need isn’t you, but those you care about? It’s not easy to recommend that someone else seek treatment, because of the same discrimination that keeps so many sufferers silent. Despite one out of every five adults in the United States above the age of eighteen suffering from treatable mental health and just one out of every three receiving the care they need, chances are we all identify people who might benefit from finding assistance. Uncertain about how to help a loved one on their journey of recovery from mental health? These are a few things to remember. 

Accessing Mental Health Centers

Receiving mental health assistance is a coping action (Mojaverian, Hashimoto, & Kim, 2013), and it is regarded as a stress response and a process that leads to well-being in the literature on problem-solving (Wilson & Deane, 2010). Receiving therapeutic assistance is important because it reduces the detrimental consequences of mental health in the long run (Rickwood, Deane, & Wilson, 2007). The process of obtaining mental-health assistance begins when a need for these services is identified, and it concludes when the need has been fulfilled by receiving mental health assistance (McKean, 2005).

The findings of research in the literature show that there are both physical and mental obstacles that affect one’s ability to succeed. There are facilitators for a person’s decision to seek therapeutic support (Hui, Wong, & Fu, 2014; Vogel, Wester, Wei, & Boysen, 2005). Barriers to obtaining therapeutic support explain 6% of the variation in people’s agreeing to look for help, according to studies (Wong, 2006). The only significant factor explaining accepting to look for assistance, according to this report, is the participants’ own sense of how important it is for them to receive mental health support which would aid their mental health.

This finding implies that the less an individual believes help is needed, the less eager he is to seek it. The fact that those in need of assistance do not seek out or use counseling resources has been a major issue (Masuda et al., 2009). The perceived obstacles to using mental health support services and the perceived need for these services were found to have a positive relationship. As a result, if one perceives several obstacles, one’s need increases as well (Lord Flynn, 1989). While there are studies that look into the factors that discourage people from seeking therapeutic support and their roles, there aren’t any studies that look into whether those encouraging factors play a role, and if so, to what degree they are successful in getting people to seek help, either individually or in combination. in a group.

Examining the factors that increase one’s probability of seeking mental health assistance is critical to enhancing our understanding of why people who need mental health help do not seek it (Wong, 2006). While several surveys (Arslantaş, 2003; Bicil, 2012; Topkaya, 2011) have been conducted in Turkey to examine the effects of a variety of mental factors (e.g. attitude toward getting psycological health aid, treatment of fears and mental health distress) on the attitudes and intentions of adults toward seeking mental health help, no direct research has been conducted to determine whether these factors are effective on the attitudes and intentions of adults toward seeking psycological health help.

As a result, adults are reluctant to seek professional support for fear of being identified as having a mental health problem. This result could be linked to people’s decisions to stop receiving therapeutic support until it is revealed that they have already received it. When the findings were considered as a whole, the social stigma associated with seeking mental health help, the desire not to share personal problems with strangers, one’s belief that he or she should solve his or her own problems, the belief that private problems should be kept within the family, and a lack of knowledge about the mental health help process were found to be the barriers to seeking help.

There was a concern for being perceived as inadequate, feeling guilty about one’s disability, losing community respect, being excluded, and the possibility of mental health discrimination. The inability to reveal personal problems to an outsider was the second obstacle mentioned by participants as a deterrent. This sub-theme stressed barriers such as being reluctant to reveal oneself to an unknown person, being unwilling to explain private problems, and feeling guilt in explaining one’s problems. This result is consistent with previous studies. For example, Vogel and Wester (2003) discovered that self-disclosure comfort was one of the predictors of seeking mental health support. In a separate study conducted by Vogel, Wade, and Hackler (2008), the ability to communicate one’s emotions was established as one of the factors important in predicting whether or not one will seek mental health support.

Cantazaro (2009) discovered that one’s level of ease with sharing personal issues and general attitude toward finding mental health support anticipated one’s aim to pursue mental health help. The last obstacle mentioned by participants was a lack of knowledge about how to get therapeutic support. This sub-theme showed a lack of understanding of the distinctions between the positions of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Although participants have a general understanding of the differences between a therapist and a psychologist, they have no idea what counselors do. The value of educating society about the mental health assistance mechanism should not be underestimated. As a result, two of the roles of psychosocial education programs should be to clarify what mental health assistance is and to work on normalizing the concept of obtaining mental health assistance (Masuda et al., 2009).

Promotion of Mental Health

Promoting mental health support programs, according to participants, is the most significant element in encouraging one’s decision to seek mental health help because it allows for easier access and normalization. According to previous studies, access to mental health support programs is a significant factor in promoting mental health help program (Wong, 2006; Lord-Flynn, 1989). These results suggest that the may number of services providing mental health assistance, as well as their ease of access, could increase the number of people who use them. In terms of these research results’ practicality, the most suitable course of action in Turkey is to create centers that only provide mental health support services and do so directly.

Investigating the factors that facilitate and impede mental health help-seeking behaviour yields new insights into the issue of not seeking mental health help and the interventions that are needed. Person, cultural, and realistic obstacles were described as impeding mental health help-seeking when the research results were analyzed. Practical obstacles, in particular, can be solved by taking the requisite steps. Future research may look at the efficacy of various psychoeducational programs aimed at reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health support. In addition, future research should look into the role of religious influences and self-esteem in mental health help-seeking, as well as the perceived costs and benefits of seeking help, in order to increase the desire to seek help.

Recognize the Symptoms (Improves the Mental Health)

A demanding employer, family issues—quick it’s to get distracted by the stresses that we all have from periodically. So, how can you tell when a loved one just needs someone to listen against when clinical support/ mental health suppport is needed? A few signs that a severe illness is developing, according to the American Psychiatric Association, include:

Withdrawal from Social Situations:

  • A drop in performance, such as failing in school or missing work deadlines Apathy
  • Concentration issues
  • Sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells, and touch has increased.
  • Mood swings that are extreme
  • Changes in sleep habits or appetite that occur unexpectedly
  • Others’ fear or mistrust

Dr. Mark Komrad, a psychiatrist in Baltimore, writes in his book You Need Help! that you need help. A Step-by-Step Guide to Persuading a Loved One to Seek mental health Help, “It’s one thing to be in a bad mood. It’s a different story whether you’re so upset or out of control that your functioning starts to shut down, or whether you’re causing damage to others around you, or whether you’re slowly losing your relationships.”

According to a licensed clinical New York City social worker named Ashley Groesbeck, once you’ve found that something is wrong, it’s a great idea to engage in some research on your own before confronting the individual. For basic facts, Groesbeck recommends the Mayo Clinic and the National Alliance on Mental health, according to Groesbeck, who has worked with veterans and traumatized youth and families for seven years.

“It is not your responsibility to make the diagnosis”. 

However, as Komrad points out in an interview, making the actual diagnosis is not your responsibility. “You know something is wrong with your loved one’s emotions, feelings, or behaviors,” says the speaker. You’re not sure what to call it or how to understand it. However, you recognize that the issue requires more mental health assistance and analysis than you, as a compassionate supporter, can offer.”

View Full Infographic

With Love, Good Approach Mental Health Improves

Well you’ve determined that professional assistance is required. So, what? ‘s next. Making the discussion a dialogue rather than a lecture, according to Groesbeck, is more prone to end in a positive outcome. She recommends beginning with a comment regarding how much you care about the individual before mentioning whatever about him or she seems to be different. ‘You are my niece, and I adore you.’ ‘Hey, you keep ditching on me,’ is more helpful than ‘I’ve noticed things have been really off lately.’ ‘What exactly is your issue?’ Grosebeck clarifies. With love soft-spoken words and kindness a person with mental health issues condition can improve.

M.* witnessed this firsthand when her three-year-old boyfriend and her five-year-old boss intervened to voice their concerns (*her full name has been changed to protect her privacy). The day her brother who is 19 years drowned himself during a schizophrenic episode, the 26-year-old Utah indigene was already coming to terms with a history of sexual violence who her grandfather was responsible of. She admits she was initially resistant to the “alien” concept of meeting with others, and she praises the way her manager and boyfriend addressed her with helping her open up to the idea of seeking mental health help.

“Starting up the conversation, especially dialoguing would likely yield a positive outcome than engaging the person in a lecture”. 

The talk with her manager was one of concern rather than criticism. ‘We can see it behind your eyes,’ he said as he drew me aside. “What can we do to assist?” Meanwhile, her boyfriend proposed it “naturally” after a particularly bad day. “We were in bed, weeping, and he was hugging me when he said, ‘We need to find someone.’ It was just a polite suggestion. M. recalls him saying, “Maybe if you have someone to communicate with, you won’t be this miserable.” Most people with mental health issues really needs our attention but it would be ideal to allow mental health professionals to handle them to yield a much better result.

Even so, it wasn’t an easy choice. “I was dejected. You want to be a strong person who can overcome any obstacle, and admitting that you need support is a huge step,” M. explains. In the end, M.’s inspiration to seek help came from recognizing that there were people in her life who were excited to see her take that step.

When They Tell You “no”

Of course, not all would react as easily and freely to the suggestion of professional support as M. did. Groesbeck advises against pushing it. “The dialog isn’t going to be very fruitful if they don’t want to talk about it.” That isn’t to say you can never use it again. Instead, inquire if there is a better time to chat and leave the door open. If they say no, tell them you’ll bring it up again later. “The danger here is that the individual will begin to avoid you,” she explains, “but you’ve set yourself up to be available.”

“Ask if there is a better time to speak to keep the door open. If they say no, tell them you’ll bring it up again later”.

If all else fails, Komrad advises readers in his book You Need Help! to “be prepared to put the relationship at stake” as a last resort. He tells DualDiagnosis.org, “Obviously, that is an end-stage step.” “Nor would it be a fruitful maneuver in certain cases,” he says, with one potential outcome being that any troublesome activity is driven as far underground as possible. “Sometimes, though, this is enough to give the helper a break, to refuel, to recruit new allies, to put on the oxygen mask, and to find a different approach,” he says.

They Pose a Threat to Themselves or Others

R. a junior in college was in her academic year when she got a late-night call from a friend who had seen another friend’s car abandoned on the side of a forest lane. They searched the woods together and discovered him alone, babbling incomprehensibly. They stayed with him all night as they drove him back to R.’s apartment. R. and a friend agreed to carry him to the school clinic the next morning. “He wasn’t attempting self-harm, but he was certainly discussing self-harm,” she says. He finally gave in, even though he didn’t feel comfortable going (he was already in the middle of the episode at the time). “We were his mates, and he trusted us.” But the truth is that we ought to always make a proper mental health provision for them.

Other Signs that A Loved One Is a Threat to Himself And/or Others, According to Komrad, Include:

  • Threats to harm oneself or others that are not hidden
  • Expressions of nefarious dreams, plots to harm others, or a suicide plan
  • Violence escalates from verbal to physical.
  • Lack of self-care puts one’s health at risk.
  • Lack of self-care or environmental care puts one’s health at risk.
  • A individual who continues to drive a car or works as a driver/pilot has obvious deficiency in motor skills, coordination, or even judgment.
  • Obtaining a weapon or ammunition for a previously owned firearm in a person who is already experiencing troubling changes in their perceptions, emotions, or behaviors.
  • Exacerbation of risky actions
  • Locking oneself in a bed, for example, is an extreme form of social withdrawal.
  • Growing paranoia, accompanied by growing expressions of violent self-protection or vengeance.

“I don’t believe the helper wants to figure out if a conduct is severe enough to warrant compulsory treatment,” Komrad adds. “If you are concerned, contact the authorities,” and “don’t hold back” in telling them what you are concerned about any mental health issue.

Keep in Mind that You Are Significant

When a loved one is in distress, it’s tempting to let concern for him or her take precedence over concern for oneself. Groesbeck warns, “Make sure you get the mental health help you need and don’t get completely pulled in.” Setting boundaries is crucial, particularly if you live with the individual, as is making time for self-care, such as going for a run or watching a movie with friends.

“Yes, you want to enlist their assistance. Yes, you want to help them get back on their feet,” Groesbeck adds. “However, you must recognize that it is not your duty to repair or render mental health to the individual at the end of the day.”

1 National Institute of Health, “Information regarding Mental Illness and the Brain” (2007), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20369/>, accessed Sept. 5, 2015.

2 “Psychiatrists’ ascertained medical needs for psychiatric illnesses in a population-based sample,” Messias E, Eaton W, Nestadt G, Bienvenu OJ, Samuels J., in PubMed.org (2007).

3 “Warning Signs of Major Mental Illnesses,” American Psychiatric Association pamphlet Safe Minds, Healthy Lives (2009).