How to Support Loved Ones in Mental Illness Treatment

If you have a loved one in treatment for a mental illness, you should be encouraged by and supportive of their decision to find help and seek recovery. While their attitude and receptiveness will play a major role in how well they respond to treatment, you also have an important duty to support them throughout the process.

Understanding Mental Illnesses

It’s hard to make any overarching statements about mental illness, as they greatly differ from each other. Some are related to mood, depression, or anxiety, while others are connected with personality disorders, substance abuse, or psychotic issues. By understanding that no two mental illnesses are the same, you can begin to understand the complexities involved in your loved one’s situation.

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Tips for Supporting Loved Ones

Your loved one needs you in this trying time. Here are a few tips for helping you support them in their decision to seek mental illness treatment:

  • Educate Yourself. Do you understand the causes, symptoms, and behaviors commonly related to the mental illness from which your loved one suffers? One of the biggest ways you can show support is by familiarizing yourself with their way of life. This gives you credibility and allows you to meet them on their level.
  • Be Realistic. You must be realistic with how you approach their treatment. Some mental illnesses can be effectively treated and essentially eliminated, while others will still remain for years to come. Understanding the prognosis and reality of the situation will allow you to support your loved one without unfair expectations.
  • Find Support. When your loved one finishes mental health treatment, it will help them to have a support group to rely on. You can assist them with this by forming a supportive community or providing contact information for existing support groups.
  • Be Part of the Treatment Team. Most mental healthcare professionals are more than willing to include the help of loved ones in the treatment process. This ensures everyone is on the same page and clear about expectations. If your loved one’s treatment center allows for it, ask to be included in the details.

Mental Health Treatment Centers

If you have a loved one suffering from a mental illness, they may benefit from seeking help through a mental health treatment center. At Bridges to Recovery, we provide a safe environment for restoration and recovery. For more information on how you can help a loved one through mental health treatment, please contact us today!