Opening up about mental health: Showing you care

Some may not be willing to discuss their mental health. Look for these signs.

While the prevalence of mental health needs are on the rise, one welcomed consequence has been the open and nurturing atmosphere many people find themselves in in which to share their feelings.

There are others, though, who may still choose to keep their thoughts and concerns to themselves. Or their condition may be severe to the point that they’re not aware of their symptoms.

No matter the patient, though, everyone can benefit from knowing and recognizing the signs that someone around them could benefit from a conversation about their mental wellbeing.

Is a loved one routinely displaying these behaviors?

  • Changes in sleep patterns or appetite
  • Displays of obvious nervousness
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Withdrawing, especially in social situations
  • Issues concentrating or recalling memories
  • Loss of initiative
  • Sudden difficulties at work, school or other activities
  • Behavior that is unusual for them

Talking to someone about their changes in behavior

Someone is more likely to initially open up to someone they love or trust. This could be family, but it can also be a friend, mentor, coach or a leader in their church.

Approach the person in a trusting, loving manner to create an open, sharing environment, convey to them that you’ve seen changes in their behavior—not in an accusatory manner, but one that evokes care, concern and a willingness to help.

Ways to increase mental health

If you’re invested in increasing your mental wellbeing, or are looking to help someone along as they increase their wellness, try the following:
  • Learn a new skill
  • Give of your time or make donations
  • Create a routine to increase physical activity
  • Spend time outside
  • Take steps toward socializing
  • Stay present and in the moment