Feb. 19 – Unsolicited advice on supporting friends who struggle with mental illness

Please keep in mind before, during and after reading this that this list has a general point of view. This does not exempt the reader, friend, or anybody else from this list or from contributing to/participating in this list. We should be spreading love and warm light as often as we can, and when you think about it, why not?

Here are some tips I’ve written out short and sweet to help myself, and hopefully others, consider life from a different perspective, and a different point of view. Breathe, read, and participate in supporting people in their journey to self-discovery, happiness, and self-care.

  1. Remain their friend

Sometimes mental health can become the only thing that someone can focus on for an unknown period of time. Peak times for a majority of people are typically during the cooler months of the year. This focus may last days, weeks, sometimes even months or just specific moments. There may even be small breaks during this time in which one might see or spend time with someone else closest to that moment {not to be confused with someone who “means more” or “means less” than others to them} but it’s important to remember that your pal who is struggling loves and cares about you even if they forget plans, cancel, or don’t text you for a while.

2. Invite them out
Continue to include your friend in events, group plans, and individual plans with yourself, even if you feel they won’t come. It shows you care and are still interested in a friendship with them. What if the time you don’t ask them or assume they won’t come, they do or want to? Don’t expect less of something you don’t know the outcome to.

3. Communicate with them
Inviting your friend out gives you both the chance to check in with the other and clear any miscommunication you may have had while creating an opportunity to better your lines of communication by physically spending time with that person in a space you are both comfortable with. This also gives you the opportunity to stop and wonder “Maybe I am not fully informed quite yet?”
Remember that your pal will fill you in as soon as they are ready, and this may take days, weeks, months, however long they need to feel ready. Keep in mind that this amount of time has nothing to do with you.

4. Gentle reminders
Give your pal some loving reminders of support, even if you haven’t talked or seen each other in a while. Sharing love and support with others encourages people to do the same! They will appreciate you thinking of their well-being. {This can also be a great opportunity to make plans with each other, check-in, and overall just shower one another in golden light}

It is so easy to forget that everyone on this planet is experiencing their own version of the world and life, and we have to help create space for others to experience that in {as well as ourselves}.

Let everything we do be done in love.