Living with mental health conditions poses unique challenges and those who suffer from these conditions have bespoke need that can vary wildly by individual. Because of this, helping to support people with mental health conditions can be very challenging in its own right. It requires a high level of empathy, a dedication to care, and a commitment to listening carefully to how they feel.
Over 25% of us (one in four people) will experience some form of mental health condition throughout their lives, so mental health awareness is important to learn and advocate. Most of us know at least one friend or family member who struggles with a mental health condition.
Start The Conversation
One of the most difficult steps can be to initiate the conversation. Mental health conditions can lead to behaviours that can be harmful to oneself or those around us, which means that often starting the conversation about their mental health means also asking them to face up to behaviours or habits that may be causing them harm or hurting their loved ones.
The most important aspect of any conversation surrounding mental health is empathy. It can be very difficult for people with a certain mental health condition to understand the mentalities and thought processes of people who do not have it, and vice versa. This is because certain mental health conditions can have an impact on how you think and process information. Because of this, entering the dialogue with empathy and understanding is absolutely vital.
Leave The Dialogue Open
Supporting people with mental health conditions is an ongoing, life-long process. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the person understands that when the conversation ends, the dialogue stays open. Normalising regular discussion of mental health in your day-to-day lives is the ideal outcome, so you both feel comfortable re-engaging with the topic whenever the need arises.
Supporting people with mental health conditions requires clear and open communication, and these simple steps can help establish a useful framework for communicating within. Providing mental health support is just one aspect of having a job in home care. If you think a career in home care could be right for you, get in touch with our team for more information or to request an application.