Peer Support may be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of a mental illness or a learning disability are able to give to one another. It may be social, emotional or practical support but importantly this support is mutually offered and reciprocal, allowing peers to benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving it.
Here are few subtle ways in which you can help a person with mental health issues:
- Listen – Listen to what they have to say. Be patient with them.
- Time – Spend time with them. Offer to take them out or go for a coffee.
- Help Them – Help them to find the right support. Offer to go with them to the doctors.
- Remind – Remind them that you are there for them.
- Encourage – Be there to offer encouragement and praise.
- Organise – Help them to organise their time and balance work and home life.
- Learn – Take time to learn more about the problem they are experiencing.
- Pressure – Don’t pressure them to talk about things they don’t want to talk about.
- Activities – Offer support to help them with daily tasks or activities.
- Connect – Stay in regular contact and connect with them.
It can be difficult for someone with mental health symptoms to pick up the phone and make the first appointment to get treated, but you can help by researching therapists and offering to make the appointment. If your loved one doesn’t feel a connection with one therapist, it’s important to keep looking until you find someone who’s the right fit. There are many medical professionals who help treat depression, including social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists.