6 Tips For Supporting A Family Member Diagnosed With A Mental Illness


Watching a loved one battle a mental health problem can be heavy on you. You may welcome the diagnosis, finally putting a name to their odd behaviors and habits over the last few months.

The recovery process may be a long one. A journey that your loved one may not complete without a solid support system. Here are six ways that you can offer support after a positive diagnosis.

Encourage Them To Seek Help

The first step may be to acknowledge that you may not do it alone. You may need to work closely with your loved one’s medical team, including the psychiatrist and therapist. You can educate yourself on the warning signs of the condition, encouraging them to see a mental health practitioner.

Learn More About the Condition

Your body may flood with a flurry of emotions after you discover the diagnosis. Part of the acceptance path may involve finding out more about your loved one’s condition. Educating yourself can help you improve the family environment to accommodate your loved one.

Learning about the warning signs can help you figure out when your loved one is having a meltdown. You can also research the various treatment options available and discuss the possibilities with them.

Besides, learning about the condition can eliminate the risk of turning towards commonly held misconceptions when interacting with your loved one.

Stay Connected

People living with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression may often feel misunderstood, breaking their socialization circles. You may need to be present for them.

Inquire about your loved one’s well-being. Use your sense of humor to cheer them up. You may also assist in setting reminders for their medication, doctor’s appointments, and counseling sessions.

Be Patient

You may need to manage your expectations for your loved one’s recovery. Families may wrongfully believe that their family member is now alright after spending a few weeks in hospital.

You may not have a magic timetable for your loved one’s wholeness. The illness may ebb and flow for years. You may need to be patient and resist the urge to inform your loved one to get over it.

Remain Positive About The Outcomes

You can become a beacon of hope for your loved one. Engaging them on an equal platform can help provide a calming reassurance that all will be well. Be empathetic without dishing out pity. You may need to see the person that you’ve always loved in them, even when they can’t recognize themselves.

Seek Support for Yourself 

You may also require support as a primary or secondary caregiver. You can find support groups or see a counselor. Open up about the challenges you face looking after your loved one.

You may need someone other than your family to talk about your experiences. Looking after your own physical and mental health can help you to care for your loved one better.


A mental illness diagnosis can be a terrifying yet relieving moment for the family. You may need to identify ways that you can help your loved one to cope with the condition. You can find helpful resources online or from your loved one’s doctor to learn more about the illness.

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