In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) WhyCare? campaign is currently raising the awareness on mental health and the importance of treatment services for everyone and anyone affected by mental illness. Mental illness has a ripple effect on individuals, families, communities, and even the entire world. Did you know that high school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out of school? If your child is struggling with symptoms of a mental illness, it can be frustrating to communicate and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Fortunately, NAMI has some suggestions on how to approach your loved one who may be struggling including:
- Be respectful, compassionate and empathetic towards their feelings.
- Practice your reflective listening skills and direct the conversation with “I” statements instead of “you” statements (ex. “I hear that you are having a bad day”).
- You may express your concern but do not become defensive and raise your voice at them.
- Give them a chance to talk freely about their struggles. This will give them the opportunity to open up to you.
For free support, the NAMI HelpLine can be reached at 1-800-950-NAMI(6264) or firstname.lastname@example.org from Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET. #NAMICares #WhyCare