Helping a Loved One Get Help for Mental Health Issues

It’s not easy to watch a loved one or family member deal with the daily debilitating symptoms of mental illness. But, it’s even harder when that person in your life isn’t willing to the professional help they need. It’s a natural response to want to protect a loved one who is going through a hard time. However, if you have a loved one that’s struggling with mental health and is unsure of getting help, pushing too hard for them to get that help can be more damaging than helpful. If you’re wondering what you can do to assist a loved one to get help for mental health issues, there are a few things you can do that won’t drive them further from getting professional assistance.

Understanding Consent When it Comes to Mental Health Care

It’s not uncommon for people who are struggling with the impacts of mental health issues to deny treatment. This can be a result of a person not believing that they are even living with mental health issues. Or, out of fear that they will be judged or misunderstood. So, if you love someone who is dealing with the negative impacts of mental illness, you may be wondering if there is a way to force your loved one to get the help they need.

Mental health treatment is something that a person who is living with a mental illness must consent to on their own. This is true in most cases. However, there are some things that can push the government or healthcare professionals to seek mandatory help for an individual. These instances include threatening to hurt oneself or another person in an act of violence. So, if your loved one isn’t violent, suicidal, or homicidal, there is little chance that you can force them to get help. Rather, you’ll have to use some more subtle means to seek care.

If your loved one is denying that they need help for mental health issues or not wanting to get help for a variety of reasons, you can:

Provide a Listening, Non-Judgmental Ear

Providing support to a person who’s living with mental health issues is so important. Support can come in many ways, but one of the most beneficial types of support is to simply listen. Ask your loved one to talk about how they’re feeling and the symptoms they’re living with. Remember to not offer any medical advice or judge them for how they’re feeling or behaving. Rather, just sit and listen so they can form a trusting bond with you regarding their experience with mental health.

Offer to Look for Helpful Resources Together

Once you have asked your loved one questions about their mental health experience and they trust you not to judge them, you can begin having the relationship that surrounds mental health care. Even if your loved one denies that they need help or is set on not getting help, you can still bring up the topic. Remember to tell them that there are many options available, including outpatient mental health treatment, that allows them to come and go while receiving help through mental health treatments rather than an inpatient setting. This may help them to understand that they can try out help and see if it’s something they want to invest their time into further. Also, you can bring up the idea of looking for treatment resources together, This takes the responsibility off of their shoulder but also gives them a say in what they will try.

If you’re looking for mental health treatment services in the South Florida area that offer outpatient support, consider checking out Delray Beach Psychiatrist’s services to learn more.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez


Existing patients, please text 561-409-7296 for follow-up appointment requests or if you have medication concerns please text 561-409-7296.