Overcoming Stigma: How to Support Loved Ones with Mental Health Challenges

Aug 25, 2023
Breaking the Stigma around Mental Health
In the modern world, to many people there is a stigma and negative connotation around mental health. By spreading awareness and educating others about mental health issues we can help to change the stigma around mental health. Keep reading to learn more!

Overcoming Stigma: How to Support Loved Ones with Mental Health Challenges

Despite being in a modern world with few social stigmas, Mental health is one thing that is related to a negative connotation in society. The stigma around mental health causes people to avoid or fear seeking the support they need from their loved ones.


While living in this modern world, we must strive to break this stigma as mental health is crucial. If people who deal with mental health issues do not seek help from the people around them, this can lead to a society becoming mentally impaired by struggling in silence.


By spreading awareness among the general public and educating others about mental health issues and the importance of communication while dealing with these issues, we can help to change the stigma around mental health.

Understanding Mental Health Challenges

In order to overcome the stigma that is associated with mental health, it is important to understand the challenges that go hand and hand with mental health. Mental health challenges can manifest in conditions like depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder. For a better understanding of mental health issues, we have to debunk the myths that circulate in the general public about mental health and give more realistic and scientific information about them.

Breaking Down Stigma

In order to break this stigma about mental health, you have to first realize that those dealing with mental health challenges must not be ashamed or embarrassed in any case.The stigma makes it more difficult for individuals to fight against their mental health conditions. In this blog, we have compiled a list of important steps for breaking down the stigma.

Challenging Stereotypes

The first step in breaking down stigma is combating the stereotypes. Stereotypes are always a part of society, but it is important to break any stereotypes that are negative and which can impact your health, whether it is physical or mental. Breaking this stereotype about mental health can be solved by having open conversations with friends and family about mental health, sharing stories related to mental health on social media, or attending events that address mental health issues. By doing so, mental health issues become more normalized and people are more willing to talk openly about their mental health without the fear of being judged by others.

Spreading Awareness

The next step is to spread awareness about the importance of mental health. Often times, we neglect the importance of good mental health although it is critical for the overall well-being of an individual. We must spread awareness about the importance of mentally caring for yourself.

Promoting Self-Care Practices

The next step after awareness is promoting the use of self-care practices. Self-care practices are stigmatized often and more when related to mental health care. It becomes increasingly important to break down these stigmas and encourage people to practice self-care.

One can practice self-care by exercising, eating well, sleeping enough and engaging in activities one enjoys. Moreover, one can set boundaries to limit the drainage of one's energy. By regularly doing such self-care practices, you can stop the stigma and benefit your own health.

Normalize Seeking Professional Help When Needed

The next and final step for breaking the stigma related to mental health is normalizing the approach of seeking professional help for mental issues.

As you opt for a mental health professional, you can make better decisions about your health and take advantage of various therapies available like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), talk therapy, medication management and many more.

How to care for your loved one dealing with mental health conditions   

In case your loved ones are dealing with any mental health condition, it is important not to leave them alone rather than do everything you can to help them fight their condition. Now, we will dive into some things you can do to support your loved ones struggling with mental health.

Create a Safe Space

It is important to create a safe place for a person dealing with mental health conditions. In that space, they can feel secure to talk about their issue without the fear that they will be judged. The last thing a patient needs is a space where they are criticized or judged for their illness.

Listen Actively 

After you have created a safe space in which the patient feels safe, now it is the time to listen to them. All a mental health patient needs is active listening to his condition. While you are listening to them, try not to be toxic and positive. Instead of saying, "it also happens to others, you will be fine". Try saying, "I know that you are dealing with this and that this is a tough patch in your life, but you don't have to get demotivated, as with the right care, you will get better soon!" While listening, try asking them open-ended questions to encourage them to express themselves further and avoid making assumptions about their feelings or needs.

Avoid Judgment

As individuals, we might get distracted and can be judgmental at times while someone is telling us about their condition. It is a must to remember that there is no "one size fits all" approach in health. The things that are easy for you to deal with might be a lot more difficult for someone else. So try your best to avoid making judgments or offering advice unless asked directly by the person in need.

Offering Emotional Support

The other thing you can do to make it easier for your loved one to deal with mental health challenges is to offer them emotional support. Patients dealing with mental health might experience emotional breakdowns where they might feel that all is lost, and they can't recover from their condition. In this situation, you must be emotionally available to them to give them empathy and positivity that life is not all lost. They can deal with the condition and live a fulfilling life ahead.

Give them medical help if needed

As a caretaker of your loved ones, you must try your best to provide them with all the needed medical help. Medical help can be simple medications or therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy or something else. You must promote the use of professional help and encourage them to seek help from medical professionals if needed.