Mental Health Awareness: How to Help a Friend or Employee Who Needs Support


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December 9, 2022


Mental health and addiction have become two of the most important medical issues in our society. Due to a combination of multiple factors, depression and anxiety rates have exploded so rapidly that the U.S. Surgeon General declared a devastating national mental health crisis. Practically every American has either personally grappled with mental health problems in the last few years or knows someone who has.

One of the saddest realities of substance use disorders and mental health issues is that they can be isolating and debilitating for the person in need. Addiction and mental health struggles often create a mindset in which a person believes, “I’m alone in this.” If you have a friend or employee struggling with a mental health issue or addiction, it can be difficult to know how to help. What should you say? What should you NOT say? How can you offer support during this time?  

As a fundraising platform designed to help people raise support for addiction treatment and mental health recovery, we’ve had the privilege of seeing lives transformed. We’ve seen the power of walking alongside a friend, family member, or co-worker on their journey. It can be a life-changing experience. Finding the way out takes courage, but it’s worth it.     

How to Help a Friend or Employee Who Needs Mental Health Support

If a friend, family member, or co-worker is experiencing a mental health or addiction issue, here are a few ways to offer support: 

1. Provide Understanding and Compassion 

It’s important to treat people with substance use disorders or mental health problems with respect, compassion, and empathy. Some people struggling with addiction have a hard time believing that others really care. Reassure your friend or family member that you do. 

One way to support them is by asking warm, curious questions. Instead of offering advice, ask the individual what they think would best support them at this time. Maybe it’s a daily phone call, a ride to pick up a prescription, or a home-cooked meal. Mental illness can be overwhelming and draining. Try offering the same support you’d offer to someone with a physical illness. 

2. Eliminate the Stigma Around Seeking Help

While the stigma around recovery and mental health treatment has decreased in recent years, it still takes a lot of courage for someone to ask for help and support. Eliminating the shame of treatment can be one of the most beneficial ways to help a person. Let them know that you consider mental illness or substance use disorder to be a diagnosable medical condition that deserves compassionate medical treatment. 

3. Provide Ample Encouragement

For most people with mental health disorders, seeking psychological care can be intimidating. It’s absolutely vital to remain patient, supportive, and non-judgmental as your loved one finds the treatment that suits their specific needs. Like any physical illness, mental illness and substance use disorders can be constant, unrelenting, and exhausting. Your loving encouragement can make a substantial difference in their daily experience.    

4. Help Eliminate Barriers to Treatment

Financial expense is often the primary reason people don’t seek treatment. In fact, 1 in 4 people who feel they need treatment doesn’t pursue it because of cost. While the cost of treatment can sometimes be offset by insurance or scholarships, it can still be financially out of reach for many individuals. A CaringWays campaign can help raise awareness and funding for someone who deserves care for their illness. 

Secure Funding for Mental Health Or Substance Use Treatment

The financial burden of addiction recovery or mental health treatment shouldn’t prevent individuals from seeking much-needed treatment. Instead, family and friends can use CaringWays® to raise support to cover the costs of treatment and medication. Through our partnership with FundRecovery, we’ve also designed a way for patients to receive discounts and scholarships through a network of mental health providers to cover the cost of treatment for substance use disorders and utilize CaringWays® for any remaining needs. If you or someone you know is ready to find help they can get started here.

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