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Friday, May 3, 2024

Helping a Loved One Through Crisis

Posted By: Advancing Care

Medically reviewed by Shreya Nagula, MD

Facing a crisis is challenging, affecting both the person directly affected and their loved ones. Having a supportive network during this time can build connections and reduce feelings of isolation. Emotionally supportive relationships contribute to lower stress levels and improved mental and physical health outcomes.

Here's a quick guide to the do's and don'ts of supporting someone during trying times:

helping a loved one

DO: Encourage open communication

  • Establish a safe space for discussing feelings without judgment.
  • Actively listen and provide compassion.

DO: Connect with mental health resources

  • Familiarize yourself with accessible/local mental health services.
  • Encourage participation in counseling or support groups for tailored help.

DO: Prioritize physical well-being

  • Don't neglect physical well-being during emotional challenges.
  • Encourage healthy habits: regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep.

DON'T: Assume you have all the answers

  • Adopt a collaborative approach to supporting your loved one.
  • Demonstrate humility, avoid assumptions and explore solutions together, fostering a sense of partnership.

DON'T: Press for immediate solutions

  • Allow your loved one time and space to navigate challenges.
  • Empower them to make thoughtful decisions at their own pace.

DON'T: Neglect your own well-being

  • Recognize and address your own stress levels and mental and physical health needs.
  • Seek support from friends or counseling services.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but these do's and don'ts can help create a framework for effective support during challenging times, boosting resilience and supporting a healthy dynamic for both you and your loved one.

Despite the best intentions, even the most compassionate individuals can find themselves overwhelmed when aiding a loved one through a crisis. If you or someone you know is struggling, don't hesitate to contact our behavioral health specialists at WMCHealth Physicians and Bon Secours Medical Group