May 29, 2022 2 min read

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are partnering with Jack.org, Canada’s non-profit organization advocating for youth mental health and suicide prevention. The organization offers a free, digital course calledBe There for young adults to learn how to support someone struggling with their mental health. Make sure to visitJack.org to learn more. We will also donate $1 to Jack.org for every Good Morning Snore Solution Sale.

If your friend is struggling mentally, just being there for them can make a world of a difference. Mental health problems often make people feel isolated and like no one understands. Demonstrating that you do understand through actions and words will help your friend feel less isolated and may even make them open up about their struggles. Here are the different ways you can be there for a friend in need.

Express Your Concerns

Tell your friend you’ve noticed they’re not their usual self and ask if everything’s ok. Avoid making assumptions or passing judgment and let them speak. Letting your friend know you’re concerned is enough to let them trust you with their problems. 

Give Practical Support

Actions speak louder than words, so offer your friend practical support, like running errands, doing household chores, or preparing a meal. Not only will this help with their day-to-day living, but it will show your friend that you really care and may help build trust. 

Listen to Them

Your friend very likely feels lonely in their struggles and like no one understands. Show them that’s not the case by truly hearing them out. Encourage them to open up about whatever it is they’re feeling or thinking and let them do most of the talking. Leave advice, 

Offer Encouragement

Social stigma around mental illness is very prevalent and can discourage your friend from getting help. Stigma is a big reason only half of all youth with mental illness seek treatment. Let your friend know there’s no shame in struggling with mental health or getting treatment.

Educate Yourself

One way to support a friend struggling with their mental health is by learning more about their condition. Or if you’re not sure which mental health problem they have, it’s a good idea to learn about mental health in general. Being educated about mental illness will help you understand what they’re going through better and help you understand how to provide support. 



References:

Henderson C, Evans-Lacko S, Thornicroft G. Mental illness stigma, help seeking, and public health programs.Am J Public Health. 2013;103(5):777-780.doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301056


Mental Health By the Numbers. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Updated Feb 2022. Link here



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