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The Quintessential Health Blog

What to do When a Friend Discloses their Struggles with Mental Health

We can likely all relate to a discussion with a friend that takes a serious turn when mental health difficulties are disclosed. Knowing how to respond to such a sensitive topic can feel overwhelming, and even stressful. Often times this is likely due to fear of saying the “wrong” thing.

Here are some tips for what to do if a friend discloses their struggles with mental health:

1)Know the value of active listening: Allowing your friend to feel heard is a small gesture that goes a long way. Consider that your friend may not have disclosed these concerns to anyone else, and there is value in reflecting their thoughts back to them, and asking questions to show that you are listening.

2)Show empathy: Acknowledge your friends’ thoughts and feelings, even if you don’t share in these experiences. Let them know that you care about them, and want to understand what they’re going through.

3)Express thanks: It was likely not easy for your friend to disclose their inner struggles to anyone, and they may have concerns that you will feel annoyed or bothered that they did so. Thanking your friend for sharing their experiences with you can help them to feel secure in their decision to be vulnerable.

4)Encourage professional support: Remember that being a good friend does not include providing those you care about with mental health treatment. Offer to help your friend search for providers that are suited to treat their needs, and acknowledge their bravery and courage in taking this step for their mental health.

5)Prioritize your self care: Listening to your friend share their difficulties with you may stir negative emotions within yourself. Be attentive to your own feelings, and engage in self-care activities to benefit your mental health after tough conversations.

If you or a friend are struggling with mental health, Quintessential Health is here for you. New patient forms can be submitted at

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