It's okay for you to be you!
Each year, one in five Americans experiences a mental illness. Most will wait an average of ten years before seeking treatment, largely due to the stigma. May is mental health awareness month, which makes it the perfect time to start talking about mental illnesses and what we can do for you to be you.
How can you help? By speaking up.
When we start talking, we realize that mental illnesses are more common and relatable than we think. And more importantly, people experiencing mental illnesses will be treated with respect, acceptance and be more apt to get the care they need.
Many of us don’t know how to respond to people when they bring up their mental illness. But the answer is that it can be very similar to what you would say to those who have cancer or heart disease. For example:
- “What can I do to help?”
- “I’m here if you need me.”
- “Can I drive you to an appointment?
- “Things will get better.”
- "Thanks for opening up to me."
- "Is there anything I can do to help?"
- "How can I help?"
- "Thanks for sharing."
- "I'm sorry to hear that. It must be tough."
- "I'm here for you when you need me."
- "I can't imagine what you're going through."
- "People do get better."
- "Oh man, that sucks."
- "Can I drive you to an appointment?"
- "How are you feeling today?"
- "I love you."
- "It could be worse."
- "Just deal with it."
- "Snap out of it."
- "Everyone feels that way sometimes."
- "You may have brought this on yourself."
- "We've all been there."
- "You've got to pull yourself together."
- "Maybe try thinking happier thoughts."