How To Communicate Mental Health Needs with Your Family
Communicating your mental health needs with your family can be a challenging but important step in getting the support and understanding you need.
Suggestions to help you navigate this conversation:
- Choose the right time and place: Find a quiet and comfortable environment where you can have an uninterrupted conversation. Choose a time when everyone is relatively calm and open to listening.
- Plan what you want to say: Take some time to gather your thoughts and decide what you want to communicate to your family. Be clear about your needs, concerns, and emotions. It might be helpful to write down key points beforehand to ensure you cover everything you want to express.
- Use “I” statements: Express your feelings and experiences using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory or confrontational. For example, say, “I have been feeling overwhelmed and anxious lately” instead of “You never understand how I feel.”
- Be honest and open: Share your experiences honestly with your family. Let them know about any symptoms you’ve been experiencing, any difficulties you’re facing, and how it is affecting your daily life. Open up about your need for support and understanding.
- Educate them about mental health: Some family members may not be familiar with mental health issues or may have misconceptions. Provide them with information and resources to help them better understand your condition. This can include sharing articles, books, or videos that explain mental health and the specific condition you are dealing with.
- Express your needs: Clearly communicate what kind of support you need from your family. It could be emotional support, encouragement to seek professional help, or simply having someone to talk to. Be specific about how they can help you, such as offering a listening ear or helping you find a therapist.
- Be patient: Understand that your family may need time to process the information and adjust to the idea of your mental health needs. They may have questions or concerns, so be patient and willing to address them. It’s important to remember that not everyone will respond perfectly or immediately, but expressing your needs is an important step nonetheless.
- Consider involving a professional: If you think it would be helpful, you can invite a mental health professional to join the conversation or recommend that your family members seek information or support from professionals. This can provide additional expertise and help your family understand the importance of your mental health needs.
Every family is different, and it’s possible that your experience may not go exactly as planned. However, by initiating an open and honest conversation, you are taking an important step towards seeking the support you need. If your family is not initially responsive, consider reaching out to friends, support groups, or mental health professionals who can offer guidance and support.
https://stlmentalhealth.com is a St. Louis mental health therapy practice in Creve Coeur, Missouri. The practice has a team of mental health therapists who provide therapy and counseling services to kids, teens, adults, couples, and families. Pearlman & Associates specializes in stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, and other mental health related issues and concerns. The practice can be reached by phone at: 314-942-1147, by email at: email@example.com or on the web at: https://stlmentalhealth.com/contact-us/. The office is located at: 655 Craig Road, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141.