An unwanted trend as of late is that depression and anxiety is increasing among adults in the United States. How can we support those closest to us who may be struggling?
Keep reading as we explore programs and practical advice to help you support those you love who are struggling with anxiety.
HELPING LOVED ONES WITH ANXIETY STARTS WITH PROFESSIONALS
When someone you love is suffering, it can be hard to know the right thing to do. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to know all of the answers. There are experts who are trained and equipped to help.
Thankfully—for those in the NJ area—there are proven, helpful, and accessible treatment options for you, no matter your background or income. Many of the agencies supported by the Holiday Fund serve individuals living with mental illness. Here are a few of the programs offered:
- Advocacy, education, training and services through Mental Health Association in New Jersey.
- Mental Health and Addiction Services through FamilyConnections
- Outpatient mental health programs and medication monitoring through Catholic Charities
- Mental Health Services through Nutley Family Services Bureau (NFSB)
In addition to reaching out to professionals, take this great advice that’s been published by NFSB for families who are loving someone who struggles specifically with anxiety.
Read more: A story of healing—Meet Isaac and Hillory
4 Helpful Steps to Supporting Someone With Anxiety
1. Steer clear of the phrase “anxiety.”
Instead of accusing someone of anxiety, a kinder approach could encourage someone to express their emotions more freely. Anxiety can occasionally be relieved by just talking to a friend or family member.
2. Promote self-care efforts.
Considering the close relationship between one’s physical, mental, and emotional health, taking better care of oneself is beneficial for almost every ailment. Find ways to engage individuals in activities that not only include physical activity but also nurture their souls and promote peace.
3. Implement or re-establish good routines.
People who struggle with anxiety, depression, or any other form of mental illness, are buoyed by routines. Remind your loved one to establish a pattern once more by encouraging them to get up at a certain time, eat breakfast, get the kids ready for school, eat lunch, exercise, etc.
4. Remain in touch frequently.
Just connect—whether it’s by phone, text, or Facetime. Be sensitive to your loved one’s preferences since “live” discussions can sometimes provoke anxiety. The point isn’t to fix them, it’s to connect in such a way as to express interest and care.
HOPE FOR THOSE LIVING WITH ANXIETY
When families combine the professional help made available with the practical steps outlined here, individuals who are living with anxiety can begin to experience healing and hope.