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Broaching the topic of mental wellbeing with your loved ones

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How do we broach this topic sensitively?

First, while we may have our suspicions that someone is not well, it is important that we come from a position of seeking to understand the person first. Casting judgement early and only on account of mere suspicion may only drive a wedge in the relationship and strain it further, rather than convey closeness.

Approaching it with active listening

Being empathetic to their difficulties, being respectful of their space and needs, and relaying your genuine thoughts from a position of concern will inevitably unearth some of the struggles of the person you care about. This then forms a starting point to discuss further options to get help.

Let them take the lead

You may feel strongly that the individual may require a specialist consultation at the onset, but he is only comfortable seeing a counsellor for now.
Instead of expressing disdain, you could facilitate the process for him to seek help that he prefers. As long as he maintains on a road to recovery, this remains a positive step that should be supported.

Normalise talk about seeking help and services

If you’ve read an article on mental health in the local news and find it useful to share to a colleague who appears to be struggling, it may be a good starting point for discussion. As a result of that initial conversation about mental wellness, he may find it easier to talk about his emotions or better still, seek help on account of it.

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