The COVID-19 spread may have subsided, at least for the moment, in the United States, but some wounds may take time to heal. We are referring to those living with mental health problems. According to experts, the pandemic has been the toughest on those who suffer from mental illnesses as they may experience long-term repercussions of the pandemic.
Most of the people who developed feelings of anxiety and depression during the pandemic will regain sanity as they resume their routines, go back to their office, and engage in socialization like they used to. But those struggling with clinical diagnosis may have a hard time dealing with their mental health issues.
People with mental ailments tend to detach themselves from normal people, as they feel negative about their abilities and thoughts. And, with pandemic widening this gap between the affected and the caregiver, caregivers and support gang including friends and family members have a tough job on hands.
Remember, it is obvious for the caregivers to lose cool while dealing with their loved ones battling mental health. But it is important that they know about and understand the vulnerabilities and psyche of people suffering with these illnesses to be able to offer better support to them.
Here are a few strategies than can prove effective:
An effective dialogue
Communicating with friends and family members struggling with such problems can help caregivers understand their mental state, especially when COVID-19 is leaving a devastating effect on mentally vulnerable people. When they learn about their mental health issues, they are in a better condition to offer support, and guidance. Recognizing the early signs of mental health problems can also help them introduce timely therapeutic interventions.
How to make dialogue effective
It is important to start an amicable conversation about mental health. However, it is important that you actively listen to your friend or family member’s response. Some leading questions may be effective in engaging the person with mental health problems in an effective conversation. Caregivers may initiate a dialogue with questions like, “I’ve been worried about you. Can we talk about what you are experiencing? If not, who are you comfortable talking to?”
They can show their concern to the patients and ask them if they want to talk to somebody in particular. The family members and friends should take the affected people in confidence by assuring them that they want to listen to you. They can ask patients if they are comfortable sharing their feelings. Asking the people in misery if they have dealt with similar problems in the past can also help befriend them. People around mental health patients should encourage them to see a solution for their problem. Individuals with mental health problems need to understand that these problems are treatable. Moreover, it is important to assess if they are nurturing ideas about harming others or themselves.
Things to consider before initiating with a dialogue
Caregivers should know how to connect people battling mental health problems. Choose a right time to discuss the topic. It is important the person feels safe and comfortable while striking a conversation about their illness. Watch for his or her reactions during the conversion. Don’t force if the person shows signs of confusion or trouble. Encouraging them rather than forcing them to see an expert may evoke an unfavorable response. Since, it may not be a simple task, make sure you have adequate information about mental problems and their effects, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can also seek help from the California Mental Health Helpline that provides reliable information about credible mental health facilities in California. Call our 24/7 mental health helpline (855) 559-3923 or chat online to know more about California mental health services.