18/11/2014 08:28 GMT | Updated 18/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Eleven Steps to Support a Loved One With Mental Health Problems

Mental illness is one of the hardest issues facing families in our country.

Myself and Rebecca Sweeney have put together 10 steps to hopefully help from our own experiences if mental illness.


If they do choose to talk to you then just listen, let them pour their feelings out to you.. even if you don't understand- just listen to them.

2. Just Hold Them

Just the simple things such as hugging them and holding them make all the difference.

3. Stay Positive

It is important for you to stay positive as you need to remember that your loved one will eventually get better over time and it's also important to let them know that too.

4. Patience

They are going to be feeling frustrated, confused and completely overwhelmed sometimes if not most of the time so it is important that you know some hurtful things that they say to you, they do not mean so don't take it too personally as it is just the illness talking and they will most likely apologise sincerely for it sometime after it has been said.

5. Keep Asking How They Are

Most of the time they are likely to say they are fine even though they aren't but the odd time they will open up, talk to you and let you know what's going on in their head.. also it's a great way for them to know that you are there to talk if they ever need too.

6. Get Them Out Of The House

Although they may not want to embrace the outside world at the time, they need to get out in the fresh air to show them that the world is still going on whilst they've been hiding indoors also it's a great way to distract them from their feelings.

7. Give Them Space

If they do ask for space, give it to them.. it's important to let them have some alone time to think and get there head straight or just let them cry on their own for a little while.. but still check up on them every so often.

8. Do the little things

Make them a cup of tea or ask them if they want to go for a walk.

9. Let them know that there mental health problem does not define them.

Very important to separate the mental illness from the person and let them know it too.

10. Encourage the small steps

Encouraging the small steps leads to bigger ones in the future.

It can be a great way of breaking down the mental illness.

11. Understand that you are not to blame

Although you may feel like it sometimes it is important to remember that you are not to blame for your loved ones mental illness just like you wouldn't be blamed if your loved one was suffering from the flu.