“The collective way many people in the United States may feel now probably indicates mental fatigue,” said Stephen O’Connor, a clinical psychologist and head of the National Mental Health Suicide Prevention Research Program. “There’s a difference between being alone and feeling alone,” said John Draper, executive director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Here are some ways experts say you can be here for your loved ones, even if you can’t be there. It is possible to notice signs that someone is going through a difficult period, even if you do not interact in person, experts said.
Regular video calls can give you “eyes on the spot,” said Dan Reidenberg, CEO of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. Reidenberg recommended asking targeted questions about the person’s behavior and home life if you feel that you cannot observe enough. It’s also important to pay attention to the “absence of things,” said Nadine Kaslow, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. If people ignore your phone calls and text messages and don’t post on social media as often as they used to, or refuse invitations to virtual holidays, Kaslow said it’s potentially a sign.
Standardize mental health conversations
Although one of the “silver linings” makes it more acceptable to talk about mental health, some people still find it challenging to open up, Kaslow said. “Everyone is kind of stressed out and burned out, so they don’t have the kind of mental resources to get involved,” said Kaslow, a former president of the American Psychological Association. Talking about mental health should be similar to asking people about their physical health, said Doreen Marshall, vice president of missionary involvement at the American Suicide Prevention Foundation. “We have to do the same thing about mental health conversations and say, ‘Hey, I’m watching you.’
Don’t be afraid to ask about self-harm or suicide.
Many people are reluctant to ask someone directly if they have been thinking about self-harm, Draper said. They may be afraid that he will cause insult or that he will put the idea in that person’s head.
Stay connected and watch
“A physical feeling, such as comfort, safety, and security, when someone is anxious and happy: ‘Oh, this is the person who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that I am safe. And they’re literally across the table, “Singer said. Even if you can’t be physical with someone who is having a hard time, there are many ways to remind them that they still have strong ties to the people who care for them, Draper said.
How to talk to loved ones when you’re worried about their mental health. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/mental-health-suicide-help-covid/2020/11/30/af45a7a6-2e88-11eb-96c2-aac3f162215d_story.html