Caring isn’t just about physical health – it can also be about mental health. How can you support someone with mental health issues? Read this blog for more information.
In line with World Mental Health Day this month, it’s important to remember that mental health impacts all of us, including those we care for. Carers may find themselves in situations where they have to support someone with mental health issues, which can be very challenging in the beginning.
At White’s Training Services, we make sure that carers receive the information and support they need to look after service users with mental health issues. We offer courses such as Mental Health Awareness to prepare you for working with people with mental health issues.
What is mental health?
Everyone has times where they feel low, stressed or anxious. These feelings are completely normal and usually pass after time. Some of us, however, might experience these feelings much more deeply and for a longer period of time, which is a problem and a reason to search for help. Being a carer, you develop strong bonds and relationships with the people you care for and sometimes you are the closest person for someone to reach out to, meaning people might turn to you for help or you might be the one to realise that a person needs help.
How do I talk with people about their mental health?
Seeing signs that someone struggles with mental health can be quite difficult. Asking regularly about how the other person is feeling is a good first step to help them open up and communicate that you are not only supporting them with their physical wellbeing but also with their emotional wellbeing. As it can be hard for older people to talk about their mental health, avoid using terms such as depression or anxiety and try to keep the conversation informal. There are still many stigmas around mental health issues which make it hard to open up. It is important to communicate that mental health problems are not a sign of weakness. As a carer, you don’t judge.
What should I do if someone needs help due to mental health issues?
It is a big step when someone realises they needs help and talks to you about their mental health issues. This usually means they are ready to accept further help. As their carer and confidant, you can accompany them to their GP who has received specialised training and will know what to do. There are multiple options to improve wellbeing, these options can be:
- Talking therapy sessions
- Seeking support for a GP and receiving medication
- Attending self-help groups
What can I do to improve someone’s wellbeing?
It is commonly known that mental health and physical health are interlinked. While injuries and immobility can have a bad impact on your mood, exercise and being outside help improve it. As a carer, you can make sure that the person you’re supporting joins a walking group or activity classes or you just go out regularly with them yourself. Strict sleeping patterns and healthy food can also add to a good mental health. Since the current medication of the service user can contribute to not feeling like ourselves, it might be good to talk about this with a GP.
If you have any further questions on supporting people with mental health issues, please contact us. We are passionate about ensuring service users feel as good mentally as they do physically and that you can support them in the best way possible.