The two-month lockdown has taken its toll on people’s mental health. Isolation from family and friends, job loss, and death are just some of the challenges that many of us face during these days of COVID-19.
While some of us have positively dealt with these feelings and took the time to prioritize their mental wellness, there can still be some lingering concerns that may make one feel restless. To some, it is the genuine concern not for themselves, but for a loved one who might be struggling in facing these days’ challenges head-on.
Here are tips on how you can support a loved one who has been dealing with a mental health concern due to the threats of the pandemic. (Read: How does one cope with loss and grief while in isolation?)
Treat the person with respect and dignity.
Listen without judgment and respect the person’s privacy. When dealing with someone who is experiencing depression and anxiety, be mindful of side comments, and unsolicited advice or opinions. (Read: Heart Evangelista on her depression, anxiety: ‘I battled for quite some time’)
Don’t ignore, disagree, or dismiss the person’s feelings. Avoid attempting to say something positive like, “You don’t seem that bad to me.” Treating your loved one who has been dealing with depression with respect and dignity will help them see that you want to understand how they feel.
Help create a low-stress environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been heavily stressful to everyone especially to those people dealing with mental health issues. One of the things you can do is to create a regular routine that may help a person with depression feel more in control. Offer to make a schedule for meals, medication, physical activity, and sleep. (Read: 3 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While in Quarantine)
Offer consistent emotional support and understanding.
In difficult times, we all need additional love and understanding. Always remember to be empathetic, compassionate, and patient. People with mental health concerns are more prone to feelings of loneliness so they need emotional support and understanding more than anyone. A kind word goes a long way. (Read: Nonie and Shamaine on mental health: ‘Parents should open their minds’)
Learn about depression
Always remember that you have to educate yourself in order to help someone dealing with depression. The better you understand what causes a person to be depressed, how it affects people, and how it can be treated, the better you’ll be able to talk to and help the person you care about. (Read: On Mental Health: How to be a Light in the Dark)
Dealing with someone with depression can get taxing—especially during this time when everything is not normal and everyone is dealing with things that this pandemic brought into our lives. That’s why it takes patience and understanding.
Finding treatment can take time, it may require more than one type of medication or treatment approach. But when we truly love them, we will get through these trying times together. (Read: How society’s perception on mental health changed through the years)