Encouraging a loved one to seek out mental health assistance is a daunting task. Here are a few tips for helping others get help.
- Listen to Their Objections: Spend time listening to and resolving their concerns. Some of the most common concerns surrounding mental health services are uncertainty about what to expect, uncertainty about the service’s effectiveness, and uncertainty about the level of confidentiality.
- Consider the Gap: Have them consider what they want their life to be like and whether or not their current actions will get them there. How might mental health services get them where they want to be?
- Use Social Leveraging: If they will not listen to you, think of someone they will listen to. Have a trusted teacher, ecclesiastical leader, parent, coach, or sibling deliver the message.
- Remind Them That Help Is an Investment: Some people might avoid mental health services because they don’t want to pay for them. Remind them that counseling is less expensive than the possible negative long-term consequences of not getting help now (e.g., failed relationships, poor occupational performance, etc.). Getting help now is an investment for the future.
- Call on the Well-Being of Others: Sometimes it is helpful to remind them that their well-being affects those they love. With help, they can be a better parent, friend, employee, etc.
- Offer a Pink Spoon: Just like the non-commitment samples at the ice cream parlor, a short, non-commitment trial of a service can help them make a more informed decision and feel more confident. Encourage them to just try 3 or 4 sessions and see how it goes.
- Finding the Right Resource: Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when encouraging someone to participate in mental health services is what service is best suited for their situation. To learn more about what services are available for individuals with and without insurance and financial resources, you can attend the free MentalHealth Services Awareness Night in October or visit uccrg.org.