What to Say (and Not Say) to Someone Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

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Experiencing a mental health crisis is both overwhelming and frightening. The most important thing we can do for someone who’s in the midst of a mental health crisis is to show our support and understanding. However, it’s not always easy to know what to say or how best to offer your help. Here are some tips on things to say and not say when someone you care about is facing a mental health crisis.

Things To Say

  • “I’m here for you.” Reassure them that you are available, willing, and ready to lend your support in any way you can.
  • “It’s ok not to be ok.” Remind them that it’s okay and normal not to feel 100% all the time, no matter what society tells us about being perfect 24/7.
  • “What do you need from me?” Ask them directly if there is anything specific they need from you at this moment in time – whether it’s space or help – so that they feel heard and respected by you.
  • “Take all the time you need.” Let them know there’s no rush when it comes to their recovery journey – and remind them that healing takes time!
  • “We will get through this together.” Share with them that they are not alone during this difficult period; let them know that no matter what happens, they have your unconditional love and support throughout every step of their recovery process.
  • “I’m proud of how far you’ve come.” Celebrate their successes with them – even the small ones – as this will give them strength and motivation during tough times ahead!

Things Not To Say

  • “You should just snap out of it.” Mental health issues are real medical conditions which require professional treatment – so don’t try to invalidate someone else’s feelings by suggesting they simply ‘get over’ their struggles!
  • “Don’t worry, everyone gets stressed sometimes.” Again, this is an oversimplification of a very complex issue which won’t help anyone going through a serious mental health crisis find comfort or solace at such a difficult time.
  • “It could be worse” Comparing one person’s suffering to another’s doesn’t really make anyone feel better; instead it can make people feel guilty or even worse.
  • “You’re just overreacting” This implies that their feelings aren’t valid or worth paying attention too; remember that everyone experiences emotions differently.
  • “Just cheer up!” Telling someone experiencing a mental health crisis to simply ‘cheer up’ won’t help solve any underlying issues.

When someone close is going through a hard time due to a mental health crisis, showing your support matters most above anything else! While offering words of encouragement can go a long way, expressing yourself in the right way is key – so keep these things-to-say-and-not-say in mind next time your friend or family member needs your emotional support! Remember – we’re all in this together!