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How to Talk to Family About Mental Health

It can be difficult for people to talk about their their mental health with friends and family, particularly if an individual grew up in a family where emotional problems were not addressed. But minimizing emotions can be damaging, individuals who are coping with grief or depression can benefit from asking for help. A personal counselor has the experience to teach individuals ways to live better, with more contentment and confidence.

Approach Mental Health Discussions with Respect

There is stigma surrounding depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. For this reason, individuals who are suffering may not want to speak up. Additionally, if a person sees a family member hurting they may not want to interfere. 

But the truth is having issues in not a sign of weakness, many people experience mental health issues and learn to heal. Too often, older individuals who are experiencing depression believe it is a normal part of aging. But this is not true. Feeling blue or being unable to move forward after a loss is not a healthy way to move through life.

If you are worried about a family member, ask them how they are feeling and let them know you want to help them with their overall wellbeing. It is also helpful to remember that a person who is dealing with health issues, including cancer, dementia, or heart disease, may be more prone to anxiety and depression.

Talk to Family About Mental Health and Solutions

When you begin the process of talking to family about mental health, simply asking about their feelings and sharing encouraging words with them can be beneficial. But there is often only so much a family member can do. When someone is suffering, more assistance will likely be needed.

After the problem is acknowledged, reach out to an online coach to address personal issues or seek out other resources in the community. So, for instance, if someone is coping with the pain of losing a loved one, there could be a grief support group in the area that would help a person process the complex emotions of loss.

Seeking help is a strong thing to do. It is common for individuals to associate mental health issues with being weak. But for a person to address the problem and move toward a solution takes a lot of strength. Sharing individual struggles, healing, and doing the work to maintain a healthy life takes vulnerability. But the authenticity and opening up pays off, with time and support, there are ways to improve life.

In addition, if you are coping with your own issues, sharing your struggles can assist you on your path to healing. There are stigmas in our society about mental health. But when you are honest about your experience, it can negate some of those views. When you are willing to share, you may find your family is a new source of strength on your journey.

Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.

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Are you feeling “uneasy” about a situation in your life? Kendall Van Blarcom provides caring and compassion as your personal confidant, helping you overcome the obstacles standing in the way of your peace and joy. Sessions are conducted via a secure landline. Call for an appointment today.

Van Blarcom Consulting Mission Statement

To provide support, education, and motivation to individuals having difficulty with life’s challenges, and to empower them to turn their life around so they can improve it with positive changes that will greatly influence their thoughts, feelings, and actions for the rest of their life.

Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M.,


Please note: I do not offer the services of a virtual counselor, therapist or geriatric psychologist. Online personal consulting is not intended to take the place of traditional face-to-face therapy, clinical assessment or treatment.

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