Mental or emotional illness can affect the routines and practices of our lives or those of our loved ones.
Friends and family members are vital to healing for someone living with an emotional illness. You can name the symptoms you observe without denying or minimizing a person’s value. Speak the truth, rather than offering wishful thinking or remaining silent. Be an informed observer: Read and learn about the mental illness that impacts someone you know. And be sure to care for yourself, so your own strength can be useful.
The path toward wellness requires safe space for personal truth and the steady support of those who care. We can offer a lifeline just by being present—often that’s really the best we can offer to a friend or family member living with mental illness.
This message is adapted from “Journey to Healing” written by Carol Schickel in the September 2011 issue of Gather magazine.