Mastering Mental Health News
How to Handle a Mental Health Conversation Would you know how to handle a mental health conversation if one of your friends or family members approached you with problems they were having? Research shows that individuals are most likely to reach out to You, their trusted friend, and how you handle this responsibility could greatly influence the next steps they take. Learn how to be prepared for tough conversations and offer support, safety, compassion and kindness to your loved ones. Refer them to professional resources and be sure to express your loyalty and continued friendship and love. Here are some tips:
- Communicate openly and honestly
- Ask Questions
- Listen to what they are saying
- Reassure the person that you care
- Compare a mental health struggle to a physical injury and thereby encourage them to get professional help.
How to Talk About Mental Health with Your Child
Do you need help starting a conversation with your child about mental health? Try leading with these questions. Make sure you actively listen to your child’s response.
- Can you tell me more about what is happening? How you are feeling?
- Have you had feelings like this in the past?
- Sometimes you need to talk to an adult about your feelings. I’m here to listen. How can I help you feel better?
- Do you feel like you want to talk to someone else about your problem?
- I’m worried about your safety. Can you tell me if you have thoughts about harming yourself or others?
When talking about mental health problems with your child you should:
- Communicate in a straightforward manner
- Speak at a level that is appropriate to a child or adolescent’s age and development level (preschool children need fewer details than teenagers)
- Discuss the topic when your child feels safe and comfortable
- Watch for reactions during the discussion and slow down or back up if your child becomes confused or looks upset
- Listen openly and let your child tell you about his or her feelings and worries