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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am concerned about a loved one’s mental health. How should I talk with him or her about it

Prepare for the conversation, set the stage and create an inviting atmosphere. MentalHealth.gov recommends the following tips and questions.

Tips for ways to respond:
  • Discuss your concerns about your loved one’s mental health when the person feels safe and comfortable; timing is everything.
  • Communicate your observations in a straightforward manner.
  • Watch for reactions during the discussion and slow down or back up if the person becomes confused or looks upset.
  • Speak at a level that is age-and-developmentally appropriate.
    Questions to ask:
  • I have noticed you have seemed different lately (irritated, sad, distant, that you have a lot on your mind, distracted, distressed). I am concerned about you. How can I help?
  • Can you tell me more about what is happening in your life (work, school, family, friends, home)?
  • Sometimes you need to talk to someone about your feelings. I’m here to listen. How can I help you feel loved?
  • Would you be open to talking with someone else (an adult, a pastor, a therapist) about what’s going on?
  • I’m worried about your safety. Can you tell me if you have thoughts about harming yourself or others?

Q: How do I get an accurate diagnosis for my child?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), these are steps individuals and families can take to help their mental health services provider make an accurate diagnosis.
1. Record Keeping: Organize and keep accurate records related to emotional, behavioral, social, and developmental history of the child. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the records should include observations of the behaviors at home, in school, and in the community.

The following can be helpful to record:
  • Primary symptoms, behaviors, and emotions of concern
  • A developmental history
  • A complete family history of mental illness and substance use disorders
  • Behavioral, emotional, and developmental challenges the child is experiencing
  • The times of day or year when the child experiences the most challenges
  • Interventions and supports that have been used, including therapy, medication, residential, or community services and hospitalization—and their effectiveness
  • Settings that are most difficult for the child: school, home, and/or social situations
  • Any major changes or stresses: divorce, death of a loved one, etc.
  • Factors that may act as triggers or worsen behaviors or emotions
  • Significant mood instability
  • Disruptive sleep patterns7

  1. Comprehensive Physical Examination: To make an accurate diagnosis, it is important to start the process with a child’s primary care physician. A comprehensive physical examination should be done to rule out other physical conditions that may be causing symptoms. The child should also be evaluated for co-occurring conditions that may cause behavioral problems or poor performance like learning disabilities, sensory integration problems, and other physical or mental disorders. If any co-occuring conditions are found, ask the school to do a psycho-educational evaluation.

  2. Specialists in Children’s Mental Health: After other physical conditions and learning disabilities are evaluated, it is time to meet with a qualified mental health provider. To find a child psychiatrist visit www.aacap.org.

  3. The Diagnostic and Evaluation Process: There is no one single diagnostic tool (a blood test, MRI scan, or X-ray) that can diagnose mental illnesses. Therefore, a diagnosis should be made based on professional observation, evaluation, and information provided by family and other experts. Criteria are based on information found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The evaluation should include a comprehensive look at all aspects of the child’s life: school, church, family, friends, and other activities.

  4. Adjustments in the Diagnosis: It may take several visits with a mental health professional before a diagnosis is made. The diagnosis may also change as new symptoms emerge or existing symptoms change. A diagnosis must be confirmed over time. Thus an ongoing two-way communication between the treatment provider and the family is necessary to track and monitor the child’s condition and progress. Sometimes a second opinion is helpful.

  5. Working with the School: Meeting with your child’s teacher and other school personnel can be helpful in identifying and making the necessary accommodations and supports for your child to thrive academically and reduce challenging behaviors at school.

  6. Service and Support Options: Ask the child’s treating provider to recommend effective psychosocial interventions, skills training, support groups, and other options that can help the child cope with symptoms and develop the skills necessary to ultimately lead a full and productive life.

  7. The Importance of Families: It may be helpful to talk with other families who have family members living with mental illness. For some children, having a diagnosis is scary and the person may be resistant to accept it. Others are often relieved to know they are not alone and there are treatment options that can help. Family-specific support groups are available by contacting 211, local faith communities, or local NAMI chapters (see resources).

Q: What are the types of mental health professionals?

There are many types of mental health professionals. Finding the right one may require some research. Often it is a good idea to first describe the symptoms to your family physician, pastor, or counselor for advice on finding the right mental health professional who specializes in treating the mental illness your loved one is experiencing.

Mental Health America Lists:
Types of Mental Health Professionals
  • Psychiatrist: Provides psychiatric, medical evaluation, and treatment for mental illness. A psychiatrist can prescribe and monitor medications.

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist: Specializes in the diagnosis and the treatment of mental disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families. A child and adolescent psychiatrist will evaluate, diagnosis, design a treatment plan, and discuss recommendations.

  • Psychologist: Provides psychological evaluation and treatment for mental illness. A psychologist can also administer psychological testing and assessments. They are trained to diagnose people and can provide individual and group therapy.

  • Clinical Social Worker: Provides case management and advocacy, and is trained to diagnose people and provide individual and group counseling.

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (Licensed Marriage and
    Family Therapist)
    : Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.

  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor: Has specific clinical training in alcohol and drug abuse. The counselor is trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.

  • Nurse Psychotherapist: A registered nurse who is trained in the practice of psychiatric and mental health nursing. He or she is trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.

Q: When looking for a mental health professional, are there tips to help find a good connection?

Mental Health America suggests you spend a few minutes talking with the professional on the phone, asking questions about their approach to working with patients, their philosophy, and whether or not they have a specialty or concentration. Discuss the symptoms you have observed in yourself or your loved one and if you feel comfortable talking to the counselor or physician. The next step is to make an appointment.

Questions to ask the professional:
  • Are you issue-specific? What are you specialties? 
  • Do you see patients under 18?
  • Do you take insurance?
  • Are you faith affiliated?
  • What are your core values?
  • What will the professional ask me?

On the initial visit, the counselor or physician will want to get to know the patient. Questions will be based around the problem at hand, what the patient does for a living, the current situation, emotions, behaviors, living situation, and health history. It is also common to be asked about family and friends. This information helps the professional assess the situation and develop a plan for treatment.

If there is a level of discomfort with the professional after the first, or even several visits, discuss those feelings at the next meeting. Don’t be afraid to contact another counselor or physician for a second opinion. Feeling comfortable is very important to the success of the patient’s treatment.

Q: What tips can help family members cope when a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness?
Mental Health America suggests these tips to help families cope:
• Accept your feelings: Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with a mental illness share similar experiences. You may find yourself denying the warning signs, worrying what other people will think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill. It is not uncommon to question your faith, feel anger toward God, and ask “Why?” Accept that these feelings are normal and common among families going through similar situations. Find out all you can about your loved one’s illness by reading and talking with mental health professionals. Share what you have learned with others, turn to your church for hope and support, and pray for peace, comfort, and wisdom from the Lord.

• Handle unusual behavior: The outward signs of mental illness are often behavioral. A person may be extremely quiet or withdrawn. Conversely, he or she may burst into tears, have great anxiety or have outbursts of anger. Even after treatment has started, some individuals with a mental illness can exhibit antisocial behaviors. When in public, these behaviors can be disruptive and difficult to accept. The next time you and your family member visit your doctor or mental health professional, discuss these behaviors and develop a strategy for coping. Your family member’s behavior may be as dismaying to them as it is to you. Ask questions, listen with an open mind, and be there in support.

• Establish a support network: Whenever possible, seek support from friends, family members, and your church (such as your small group). If you feel you cannot discuss your situation with friends or other family members, find a support group. These groups provide an opportunity for you to talk to other people who are experiencing the same type of problems. They can listen and offer valuable advice.

  • Seek counseling: Therapy can be beneficial for both the individual with a mental illness and other family members. A mental health professional can suggest ways to cope and better understand your loved one’s illness. When looking for a therapist, be patient and talk to a few professionals so you can choose the person that is right for you and your family.
  • Take time out: It is common for the person with the mental illness to become the focus of family life. When this happens, other members of the family may feel ignored or resentful. Some may find it difficult to pursue their own interests. If you are the caregiver, schedule time for yourself as it will help keep things in perspective and may give you more patience and compassion for coping or helping your loved one. Being physically and emotionally healthy helps you to help others.

Q: How can I be the best advocate for my mentally ill child?

NAMI recommends getting a comprehensive evaluation. Child psychiatric disorders are complex and at times confusing. A full assessment often involves several visits. Effective treatment depends on a careful and accurate diagnosis.

  • Insist on the best: Talk to physicians, therapists, guidance counselors, and other parents. Find out who in your community has the most experience and expertise in evaluating and treating your child’s particular condition. Check the clinician’s credentials carefully. Are
    they appropriately licensed or certified in your state? If he or she is a physician, are they board certified? Push schools, insurance companies, and state agencies to provide the most appropriate and best possible services, not merely services that are deemed sufficient or adequate.
  • Ask lots of questions about any diagnosis or proposed treatment:
    Encourage your child to ask any questions he or she may have, in addition to asking your own questions. Remember that no one has all the answers, and that there are few simple solutions for complex child psychiatric disorders. Make sure you and your child understand the full range of treatment options available so you can make a truly informed decision.

  • Insist on care that is family-centered and builds on your child’s strengths: Ask about specific goals and objectives. How will you know if treatment is helping? If your child’s problems persist or worsen, ask what options and alternatives are available.

  • Ask about comprehensive wraparound or individualized services geared specifically to the needs of your child and family: Find out if such services are available in your state or community.

  • Be prepared: One of the most important things you can do to help your child is to keep all information, including past consultation and treatment reports in an organized place. Insist on receiving your own copies of all evaluations. Maintaining your own file with all relevant information can help avoid unnecessary duplication of previous treatment efforts.

  • Feel free to seek a second opinion: Any responsible mental health professional will be glad to help with referrals or by sharing information. If you have questions about your child’s diagnosis or the proposed course of treatment, arrange an independent consultation with another clinician.
  • Help your child learn about their condition: Use books, pamphlets, and the Internet. Make sure the information is age-appropriate. Answer questions with honest, accurate, and consistent information, but don’t overload your child with more details than they want or need.
  • Know the details of your insurance policy, and learn about the laws governing insurance in your state: In some states, insurance companies must provide access to a specialist, such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, within a certain distance from your home. If no such specialist is available as part of the company’s network, you may be able to receive treatment from a provider of your choice, with the insurance company responsible for full payment.
  • Work with the schools: Insist on access to appropriate mental health consultation services. You can also suggest in-service training programs to enhance awareness about child psychiatric disorders. Request copies of your child’s educational records, including the results of any formal testing or other evaluations. Ask to be included in any and all school meetings.
  • Learn about the reimbursement and funding systems in your state: The more you know, the better you can advocate on behalf of your child. How does Medicaid work? Which services are covered and which are excluded? Is there a Medicaid Waiver Program which allows increased flexibility based on the specific needs of children and families? Is your child eligible? What other sources of funding are potentially available?

• If necessary, use a lawyer: Learn about the local legal resources. Find out which lawyers in your community are familiar with educational and mental health issues. Talk to a local representative of either the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program or the American Civil Liberties Union for a legal referral. You can also call the State Bar Association. Consider a legal consultation to make sure you are pursuing all appropriate avenues and options regarding services for your child.

Q: What is talk therapy?

Talk therapy, another term for psychotherapy, is a method of talking face-to-face with a mental health professional. Talk therapy is a way to treat people with a mental disorder by helping them understand their illness. It teaches people strategies and gives them tools to deal with stress and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes therapy alone may be the best treatment for a person; other times, therapy is combined with medications. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. The kind of therapy a person receives depends on his or her needs.

 Mental Health America says several of the most commonly used therapies are:
  • Behavior Therapy: Includes stress management, biofeedback and relaxation training to change thinking patterns and behavior.

  • Psychoanalysis: Long-term therapy meant to “uncover” unconscious motivations and early patterns to resolve issues and to become aware of how those motivations influence present actions and feelings.

  • Group Therapy: Includes a small group of people who, with the guidance of a trained therapist, discuss individual issues and help each other with problems.

  • Family Therapy: Helps family members improve communication, deepen connection, and resolve conflicts.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helps a person focus on his or her current problems and how to solve them. The therapist helps the person learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change behaviors accordingly

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): The therapist assures the patient that the behavior and feelings are valid and understandable. At the same time, the therapist coaches the patient to understand that it is his or her personal responsibility to change unhealthy or disruptive behavior. DBT emphasizes the value of a strong and equal relationship between patient and therapist.

  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): Based on the idea that improving communication patterns and the ways people relate to others will effectively treat depression. IPT helps identify how a person interacts with other people. When a behavior is causing problems, IPT guides the person to change the behavior. Sometimes IPT is used with antidepressants. The therapist helps the patient learn to express appropriate emotions in a healthy way.

  • Family-Focused Therapy (FFT): Includes family members in therapy sessions to improve family relationships, which may support better treatment results. Therapists trained in FFT work to identify difficulties and conflicts among family members that may be worsening the patient’s illness. The therapist educates family members about their loved one’s disorder, its symptoms and course, and how to help their relative manage it more effectively. The therapy aims to prevent family members from “burning out” or disengaging from the effort.

Q: How is talk therapy adapted for children and adolescents?

Talk therapy can be adapted to the needs of children and adolescents, depending on the mental disorder. Psychosocial treatments that involve a child’s parents and family also have been shown to be effective, especially for disruptive disorders such as conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. Some effective treatments are designed to reduce the child’s mental health symptoms and improve parent-child interactions. Parents are taught the skills they need to encourage their children. Playing, drawing, building, pretending, and talking are important ways for children and adolescents to share feelings and resolve problems.

If talk therapy is recommended for a child or teen, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends parents ask the following questions:

  • Why is talk therapy being recommended?
  • What results can be expected?
  • How long will my child be involved in therapy?
  • How frequently will the doctor see my child?
  • Will the doctor be meeting with just my child or with the entire family?
  • How can I communicate with the doctor about the questions I have in the process?
  • How much do therapy sessions cost?
  • How will we (the parents) be informed about our child’s progress and how can we help?
  • How soon can we expect to see some changes?

Q: What other types of therapies might be used in treatment?

There are a variety of therapeutic approaches to help someone with mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health says the treatment of mental illnesses can range from medication and counseling to social support, preventative measures, and occupational therapies.
  • Animal-Assisted Therapy: Working with animals, such as horses, dogs, or cats, may help some people cope with trauma, develop empathy, and encourage better communication. Companion animals are sometimes introduced in hospitals, psychiatric wards, nursing homes, and other places where they may bring comfort and have a mild therapeutic effect.

  • Drug Therapy: Medication can be beneficial to some people with mental or emotional disorders. The patient should ask about risks, possible side effects and interaction with certain foods, alcohol, and other medications.

  • Electric Convulsive Treatment (ECT): ECT is used to treat some cases of major depression, delusions, and hallucinations, or life-threatening sleep and eating disorders that cannot be effectively treated with drugs and/or psychotherapy.

  • Light Therapy: Light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). During light therapy, a person sits in front of a “light box” for periods of time, usually in the morning. The box emits a full spectrum light, and sitting in front of it appears to help reset the body’s daily rhythms.

  • Movement/Art/Music Therapy: These methods include the use of movement, art, or music to express emotions. This is effective for people who cannot otherwise express feelings.

• Health and Wellness: Never underestimate the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, since physical activity produces endorphins (chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers). Health and wellness can also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. The Daniel Plan®: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, is an excellent resource for creating a healthy lifestyle and is framed around faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.

Q: How do I know if therapy is effective?

It is normal for therapy to be painful and uncomfortable at times. It is hard work, but with time and continual work, people can expect to feel more hope. Those suffering may feel gradual relief from the distress and will generally have a greater ability to make decisions, handle stress, perform daily activities, and improve relationships with others.

Mental Health America recommends asking these questions:
  • Are you or the person being treated taking medication(s) as prescribed?
  • Is the medication helping? Are there any problems or side effects from the medication(s)?
  • Are there any new medical or health problems?
  • Are any new medications being prescribed from other doctors?
  • Are you or the person being treated regularly visiting a therapist?

Q: How do I talk with someone who is suicidal?

If you suspect someone you know is suicidal, tell that person that you are worried and want to help. Don’t be afraid to use the word “suicide.” By simply asking, you will not put the idea in their mind. Ask whether they are considering taking their life, and ask if they have a specific plan. Having a plan may indicate that they are farther along and need help right away. Your direct, non-judgmental questions can encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings.

The Yellow Ribbon Program makes these recommendations as you prepare for a conversation:
1. Preparation steps before you talk:
• Identify your resources
• Remember to say “suicide”
• Choose an appropriate time to talk with them
2. Talking points:
• “You can come to me and talk about suicide.”
• “Do you know anyone who has talked about suicide?” • “Do you know anyone who has attempted suicide?”
• “Have you ever thought of attempting suicide?”
• “What can I do to help? We are in this together!”
3. How to respond to a cry for help:
• Breathe
• Be genuine, caring, and show respect; have a caring conversation • Don’t lie or make promises you can’t keep
• Tell them:
“I am glad you talked to me.”
“I do care. Tell me what’s happening in your life.” “How can I help?”
“Let’s find someone who can help you get through this.”

If you do find that someone is contemplating suicide, it is essential to help them find immediate professional care. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, though—no matter how overpowering—does not last forever.
If they tell you they are going to commit suicide, you must act immediately. Don’t leave the person alone, and don’t try to argue. Instead, ask questions like, “Have you thought about how you’d do it?” “Do you have the means?” and “Have you decided when you’ll do it?” If the person has a defined plan, the means are easily available, the method is a lethal one, the time is set, then risk of suicide is obviously severe. In such an instance, you must take the individual to
the nearest psychiatric facility or hospital emergency room. If you are together on the phone, you may even need to call 911 or the police. Remember, under such circumstances no actions on your part should be considered too extreme—you are trying to save a life.

All threats should be taken seriously. Make sure teens know they are not betraying someone’s trust by trying to keep them alive. Don’t automatically assume that someone who was considering suicide and is now in treatment is, in fact, doing better. Some people who commit suicide actually do so just as they seem to be improving. It’s important to make certain that the lines of communication between you and the individual remain open.

Q: What should I do if my loved one is in a mental health crisis and is willing to get treatment?

If your loved one has a mental health service provider such as a psychiatrist, therapist, case manager, or other mental health worker, attempt to obtain their professional assistance in determining appropriate action. If the person does not have a service provider or a written plan, you should work with the individual to learn what treatments he or she would like to receive. Determine if there is a person that could be contacted to assist during the crisis.138
If your loved one has insurance, you can save time by calling their provider first to identify which hospital will accept the person. It is advised to accompany the individual and provide as much information as possible to the evaluating doctor or mental health worker regarding the individual.

It is also important to provide your loved one with as much choice and decision-making authority in determining their treatment. This may take longer but will have a better outcome because the ultimate decision has the individual’s support. In addition, you will decrease the traumatizing effects of crisis for the individual, thus promoting a quicker recovery.

In working with your loved one, it is important to be engaging and cooperative. Arguing with the individual is unproductive and will not have beneficial results for you or the individual. You can be direct with the person about your concerns but remain nonjudgmental and noncritical. Talk about the potential benefit of hospitalization as a way to reduce the stress of daily responsibilities and to allow focused time on recovery.

Q: What should I do if my loved one is in a mental health crisis and is not willing to get help?

As frustrating and scary as it is to see your loved one in a mental health crisis refusing to seek help, noncompliance to treatment is not considered a crime in the US. According to NAMI, taking medication or being in therapy is not enforceable, except in the case of minors and those who are a danger to themselves or others.

If your feel like your family member or friend is possibly a danger to themselves or others, you can contact 911 and ask for a crisis intervention officer to be sent to the location. It’s possible that your community may also have a crisis intervention team (CIT) that could respond to an emergency situation; the local NAMI Affiliate may be able to provide you with contact information for a CIT.

Some people seem to be unaware of how mentally ill they are and therefore don’t recognize their need for medical treatment. Family members might assume that this is due to denial, stubbornness, or pride, but there is a condition called “anosognosia” (impaired awareness of illness), caused by anatomical damage to the brain that explains why some individuals diagnosed with major mental illness do not believe that they are ill.

When a person has a long history of noncompliance with treatment and/ or medication, assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) may be an option. (AOT) is court-ordered treatment (including medication) for individuals with severe mental illness, but they must meet strict legal criteria, which varies from state to state. Currently, 45 states have assisted outpatient treatment laws, but putting the laws into practice is often incomplete or inconsistent because of legal, clinical, official or personal barriers to treatment.

Q: How do I explain what mental illness is to my child?

Below are age-specific tips for discussing mental illness with your child recommended by the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:
  • Preschool Age Children: Young children need less information and fewer details because of a limited ability to understand. Preschool children focus primarily on things they can see. For example, they may have questions about a person who has an unusual physical appearance, or is behaving strangely. They would also be very aware of people who are crying and obviously sad, upset, or angry.

  • School Age Children: Older children may want more specifics. They may ask more questions, especially about friends or family with emotional or behavioral problems. Their concerns and questions are usually very straightforward. “Why is that person crying? Why does daddy drink and get so mad? Why is that person talking to herself?” They may worry about their safety or the safety of their family and friends. It is important to answer their questions directly and honestly and to reassure them about their concerns and feelings.

  • Teenagers: Generally, teenagers are capable of handling much more information and asking more specific and difficult questions. Teenagers often talk more openly with their friends and peers than with their parents. As a result, some teens may have already had misinformation about mental illnesses. Teenagers respond more positively to an open dialogue, which includes give and take, rather than a conversation that feels like a one-sided lecture.

    Be sure to allow time to listen and be prepared to address the tough questions.
    It is important to talk with your children and loved ones about their emotions. Sometimes emotions are difficult to identify.

Q: How do I support my loved one after a mental health hospitalization?
When someone has a mental health crisis, support from family can make a big difference. You may not know the right things to do or say––but with commitment, intentionality, and compassion, you can learn how best to support your loved one.

Hospitalization is sometimes necessary to stabilize someone having an acute mental health episode. Unfortunately, 1 in 10 people discharged from state psychiatric hospitals are readmitted within 30 days according to SAMHSA.146 Following hospitalization for a suicide attempt, the risk of suicide is greatly increased especially for people living with major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Between 30% to 50% of people who die by suicide have made a previous attempt.

Before leaving the hospital, individuals need to have a discharge plan. Make sure they have a written list of what medications to take, what dosage, and when to take them. It is important to know that individuals might not feel better immediately. They should allow themselves too slowly and gradually get back to routine and to stick with their treatment plans. It may be helpful for individuals to connect with people who have had similar experiences. It is recommended that you work with the individual to develop a “game plan” to prevent future crisis situations. This can include a variety of options but the ultimate goal is to help the individual find the support that will enable him/her to prevent, avoid, divert, or manage a future crisis.

After a mental health hospitalization, it can be difficult to know how to support your loved one. People leaving the hospital after surgery or another medical emergency need time for healing and recovery. It is no different for people leaving a hospital due to mental health treatment. People leaving the hospital are vulnerable and a gentle approach to reintegrating with the world can be helpful.

Helpful Tips:
  • Being hospitalized can be a traumatic experience. Be sensitive to whatever emotions the person is feeling.
  • It is important to know a person is not “fixed” when leaving the hospital.
  • It is likely the beginning of a longer-term recovery process.
  • It is unrealistic to think a person can go back to their normal life right away.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about how someone is doing.
  • Assure the person of your commitment to the relationship.
  • Ask the person if you can help with practical needs: grocery shopping, making meals, cleaning their home, taking them to doctors appointments, etc.
  • Spend time together doing things that do not revolve around a mental illness like going to the park, watching a movie, etc.
  • It is normal to feel frightened and worried about someone after they have been hospitalized. Make sure you, as the caregiver, get the support you need as well.