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Helping A Loved One With Their Mental Disability

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It is always important to try and remember that not all disabilities are visible; in fact, a large proportion are invisible, and they are just as likely to cause a debilitating effect as those we can see. I had this discussion with colleagues recently … for example, it’s easy to see a broken limb but you can’t see emotional turmoil.

It is important to remember this because our culture often overlooks or, worse still, shuns those with mental disabilities, and that means that the stigma surrounding it gets even worse as time goes on. This, in turn, can make the experience for the individual suffering with a mental disability much worse, and clearly what we don’t want is to exacerbate it for anyone.

Helping a loved one with their mental disability

It can help to know what you can do to support a loved one who has a mental disability, and that is what we are going to look at in this article today.

Talk With Them

It might sound simple, but sometimes what helps the best is exactly that which is the most straightforward to do. If you want to make a point of being there for someone with a mental problem, then one of the best things you can do is talk with them.

That doesn’t mean you need to talk about the disability itself. It might be that they don’t want to talk about it – most certainly, they don’t want to talk about it all the time! But just having a conversation in a normal way can often be enough to make someone’s day, and that is definitely worth bearing in mind. It doesn’t take much on your part, but you could really be helping them along in ways you can’t even imagine.

Play Sports

Being active is one of the best things that you can do if you want to be happy, and if you want to keep the people around you happy. That is certainly often going to be true for your loved one who has a mental disability. Whatever their problem might be, you can be sure there is some kind of physical activity which they are likely to enjoy. There are many disability sports and recreation grounds to look into, and this could be one of the best things that you ever do for your loved one. Whether you play with them, or just introduce them to something they can play with others, this is going to really be an effective form of therapy.

Socialize

Any kind of socialization that you can encourage them to take part in is bound to be helpful, and you may find it’s something that you can help them with that is surprisingly easy too. Socialization is an incredible way of ensuring that you can much more easily help them to feel happy and to fit in, and as such it’s something that you should consider.

That could mean going with your loved one to some social event – or it could just be that you need to introduce them to something that they then may feel passionate about (as with the sport idea above). However you do it, it’s going to be a big help for them.

What ways have you found in helping a loved one with their mental disability?


This is a collaborative post.

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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