How to support someone in mental health crises

Having support is really important when dealing with mental health issues. If a friend, family member or a colleague is going through a tough time mentally, your help can mean a lot to them as they try to get better. Let’s find out how you can be there for someone who’s going through a hard time!

Be physically present

Being with someone in person can help them feel safe and comforted when they’re going through a tough time mentally. It could mean sitting beside them, holding their hand, or giving them a reassuring hug. These actions show that you’re there for them without even saying anything. If you can’t be there in-person, you might want to ask anyone that is close to them to be there instead, to provide that same kind of support.

Listen actively

When someone is really struggling with their mental health, it can mean a lot to them if you just listen. Actively listening means focusing completely on what they’re saying, looking at them while they talk, and not cutting them off. Sometimes they just need to let out their thoughts and feelings. Your willingness to listen and be there for them can make a big difference in helping them feel better.

Encourage seeking professional help

While your support is valuable, it’s also really important to talk about getting help from a professional for long-term healing. You could even offer to help find a therapist or go with them to appointments if they’re okay with it. Remember, professionals are equipped to provide the specific guidance to address their mental health concerns. In situations where urgent help is needed, they should also be aware that the option of visiting an emergency room is available (at any Malaysian governmental hospitals or clinics).

Express empathy

Empathy involves putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and trying to understand their feelings. Use empathetic statements like “I’m here for you,” or “Your feelings are valid, and I’m here to support you.” This validation can create a safe space for them to open up and share their experiences.

Respect their boundaries

It’s important to remember that you can’t “fix” someone’s mental health issues, but you can provide a supportive environment for them. Their consent and choices matter. Respect their autonomy by not trying to force solutions. Instead, gently suggest that they consider talking to a mental health professional who can provide specialised care. By respecting their autonomy, you empower them to take charge of their journey towards healing.

Offer help in chores

Besides being there emotionally, think about lending a hand with tasks. You could help with things like daily chores such as tidying up their living space, giving them a ride to appointments, or even preparing meals to make sure they’re nourished. This practical help can ease some of the stress they’re feeling and let them concentrate on feeling better, knowing that some of their day-to-day concerns are being taken care of.

Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself is just as important as supporting others. Practicing self-care is essential. This can involve taking time for yourself, meditating, and reconnecting with your hobbies. Practicing self-care also encompasses setting boundaries. You can’t be available all the time, and that’s perfectly okay. Let the person know when you are available to be there for them. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be in a better position to provide sustained support to your loved ones.

Hotline Numbers

If you or your loved ones are in crisis, please call and speak to a mental health professional immediately. Please see list of resources below:

Call: 03-76272929
Appointment : [email protected]

Talian Kasih
Call: 15999
WhatsApp: 019 261 5999

Women’s Aid Organisation
WhatsApp: 018-988 8058

Our professional therapists are ready to help!

Seeking help is one of the bravest things you can do! Our clinical psychologists and counsellors are more than happy to offer safe space for you to heal!

Book a session on our website, or Whatsapp us at +60 17-803 8384!

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