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How to support a friend or family member who’s struggling with their mental health

Sahaj Kaur Kohli

How to support a friend or family member who’s struggling with their mental health
Every one of us has mental health in the same way that every one of us has physical health. Yet despite the prevalence of mental health struggles, there is still so much stigma around them. Worldwide the leading cause of disability is depression, according to the World Health Organization, and in the US alone, nearly 1 in 5 of adults lives with a mental illness.
As a mental health therapist-in-training and the founder of Brown Girl Therapy, the largest mental health community for children of immigrants living in the West, I regularly get asked this question: “How can I support a loved one who is struggling with their mental health?” With the multiple crises we’re currently living through, it can feel like more and more people we know are currently hurting.
Maybe you’ve noticed that a friend’s behavior or demeanor has changed and you’re concerned, or a family member is opening up to you for the first time about their anxiety. I know it’s challenging to know what to say or do. Here are eight things that you can do and eight things you should not do when you’re supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health.
People who are struggling with their mental health are not broken, and they do not need to be fixed.
You want to be with your loved one while they’re navigating their own struggles, not steering them or pushing them.

First, the dos:

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