On average, every woman in the world has at least six best friends in her lifetime. Those best friends are like sisters. When a BFF isn’t feeling like herself, it’s a girlfriend to the rescue.
What do you do when the help is more psychological than physical? Don’t fret. There’re ways to help your sister dealing with mental health, whether they’re family or your closest friends.
Sisters help you cope with the mental stresses in life. They also give healthy, critical advice when you need it. That constructive criticism goes a long way when you battle with depression.
It’s also a form of love that makes us happier and more optimistic.
Seeing a sister struggle with mental health can take a toll on you. Find out below how to encourage healthy behaviors and positive self-talk.
Step One in Helping a Sister With Mental Health: Listen
A lot of people listen to speak. That means they’re not fully taking in what the person is actually saying. They’re waiting for the opportunity to give their opinion.
When it comes to dealing with someone with mental health concerns, you have to listen. Sit back and take in everything said to you with an empathetic heart. Don’t anticipate responding.
Don’t take notes. Listen.
Let your sister share the details of her struggle and what’s causing her anxiety. Listening gives her space to vent and release pent up emotions that cloud her headspace.
Compassion shows concern for the suffering of other people. It means you care enough to step into their struggle and experience the suffering with them.
When you show compassion to a struggling sister, you motivate her to press toward the positive. You encourage her to move out of her own way and seek the professional help she needs.
Create a compassion bubble—a judgment-free space between you two where she can get honest. She can be transparent about her mental, emotional, and psychological pains.
Fight for Them
One of the best things you can do for a sister struggling with mental challenges is to fight for them.
Be their advocate.
People have a hard time admitting to the struggle and getting help when they need it. Nobody wants to live under that label. It’s like walking under a rain cloud every day.
Stand up for her by reminding her of her strength and encouraging positive thinking. Remind her that this illness doesn’t mean she’s weak or crazy. Hold her hands through the process of getting help.
Know Where and How to Get Help
If your BFF starts talking about ending it all, you need to know how to jump into action.
Educate yourself on who to call and where to take her to get help. Have a psychologist and help center on speed dial. Make sure these are people you both agreed on previously.
She needs to know you’re taking her to someone she trusts when she needs immediate help.
Stop wondering how to help a sister with her mental health. Start offering a listening ear, compassion, and advocacy. Watch things change.
Let us show you how to get more involved in the community. Check out our resource guide for more details.