What to say when someone tells you they have a mental illness
Read Minnie's tips on what to say to someone when they tell you they have a mental illness.
28th July 2017, 2.53pm | Written by Victoria Minshall-Jones
Starting a conversation about mental health can be a frightening prospect. It can be intimidating for someone who is suffering to let those around them know, but it can also be pretty nerve wracking for those hearing it. This is especially the case if you’ve got no personal experience of mental illness yourself. You may be thinking what on earth can I say that won’t make it worse? How can I let my friend or family member know that it’s OK, without sounding like I don’t care or don’t understand?
A good rule of thumb, think about what you would say if they told you they had a physical illness, like diabetes or asthma. And say that. Then just take the conversation where it would naturally go.
If, like me, you excel in social awkwardness while meaning well in all your interactions with loved ones, here is a handy cut and keep reference of what those starting sentences could be:
And then...just take it from there.
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