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If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or is considering suicide, help is available. Reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988or contact Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741741.
Having conversations about someone's mental health can be awkward. Here are ways that may make these conversations more comfortable and productive.
Try and find a quiet location during a time when you will not be distracted.
While we may have ideas of how we want a conversation to play out, it is important to honor individual beliefs and try to accept what they share, even if it does not meet your original expectations.
It is often not helpful, and sometimes counterproductive, to argue with your loved one about their experiences.
Practice skills of listening which include offering reflections. Share your observations and point out the most noticeable changes you have seen. Inquire about their concerns and share how getting help can address them.
Although it can be hard when you are worried or concerned, when talking to your loved one do your best to try and instill hope and encouragement, as well as assuredness that the person who is struggling is not alone – that you are there to help them if and when they are ready.
Sometimes conversations don’t go as we planned. Be open to adjusting the flow of the discussion based on the needs of the recipient.
You are not alone
While each experience of psychosis is unique, some people find it helpful to utilize resources that connect people with shared experiences.
Educate yourself about psychosis
Ask questions and learn about what your loved one is experiencing. The more you know about psychosis, the less worried or anxious you may be.
Sometimes it can be hard to have a conversation with someone you are concerned about. Here are some simple ways to start.
"You don’t seem like yourself lately."
"I want you to know that I’m here for you if you want to talk."
"I care about you and am here to talk if you want."
"We can get through anything together, no matter how scary."
Catherine (Cat) Conroy, M.Ed, Manager of HeadsUp
Neurodevelopment and Psychosis Section, Department of Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
10th floor, Gates Pavilion, HUP
3400 Spruce Street, Rm. 10054, Philadelphia, PA 19104 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are available during standard business hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) to answer any questions you may have about our organization or to direct you to programs in Pennsylvania that can offer clinical help.