awareness, understanding, mindfulness.
Questions & Suggestions
Free Your Mind’s Youth Questions & Suggestions Program is an online platform that provides an accessible, and confidential space for youth to ask questions and seek advice for their mental health related concerns. Do you have a question about mental health? Use the anonymous form below to enter your questions. A mental health professional will answer your questions one by one on video or through writing. The video or text answers will be published through Free Your Mind’s website at www.freeyourmindinitiative.com and (or) youtube channel and (or) spotify.
Your question is saved and will appear when it is answered.
If you’re seeing signs and symptoms that this person is really struggling (e.g. missing school or work, changes in eating/sleeping, withdrawal from friends and activities, extreme mood changes of highs and lows, inability to concentrate or think clearly, talk about self-harm or suicide, talk about having unsettling thoughts, using drugs or drinking to cope), then you may want to suggest that maybe getting some help might be beneficial for them. You can offer to help book an initial appointment with a therapist or doctor to support them in this process. You might need to set a boundary by saying something like: “I really want to support you, but I’m not trained in how to deal with what you’re facing, and maybe I can support you to find someone you feel comfortable talking to.” If you are worried that they are going to harm themselves or someone else, you will want to try and encourage them to go to the hospital to get some support and in some cases, you may need to call emergency services to keep them safe.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to support someone with a mental illness, you may want to consider talking to someone you trust as well. Get some support to take care of yourself. A mental health professional would be able to help you to understand how to set boundaries and how to communicate clearly with someone who is struggling with mental illness or addiction.
Learning to listen to our own bodies needs and being able to set boundaries is the best way to prevent this from happening.
Boundaries are really hard, but with practice they get easier. You may want to ask yourself, in what ways do I feel I can help my family today? Or what do I want to get done today? When you know how much you feel you are able to help, then setting a boundary might sound like: “I have some things I need to get done today for myself, but I am able to help you for an hour” or “ I’m feeling really tired today and could use some help. Are you able to help me pick up the toys/laundry/do this dishes, etc.” You may want to negotiate roles within the family, for example: my plan is to clean all of the bathrooms today in the house, are you able to vacuum and clean the kitchen, and then maybe both of us can fold the laundry when its done.” These are just a couple examples of how you might communicate your boundaries to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed and burnt out.
I would encourage you to consider talking to someone to understand your own experiences of anxiety better and what triggers you have. When you understand what is going on for you personally, you can learn ways to better manage your thinking when your mind goes to places you do not want it to go.