Is someone you love struggling with their mental health?

Here’s how you can help them cope during the stressful festive season.

Marieta Dippenaar | Psychologist

For many people who are trying to come to terms with their mental health, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. For some, large gatherings and travelling to see their family or friends can cause stress. For others, the holidays are a time of loneliness and social isolation.

That’s why it’s important as a family member or friend to recognise when your loved one with a mental health issue is struggling – and how you can offer support.

Give them space and time to talk. Listen. Most people experiencing distressing emotions and thoughts will want someone to talk to before being offered resources and information. You can support your friend or loved one by being there for them and listening in a non-judgmental way.

Don’t try to solve the problem yourself. Encourage professional support. People with mental health challenges will have a better chance of recovery if they get the right assistance. And they needn’t wait until the start of the New Year either. The programmes at Evexia, for instance, continue right through the holiday period, Christmas and New Year.

Ask how you can help. The holidays can be a stressful and busy time for many, including those facing a mental illness. By simply asking how you can offer support, you may be able to help with overwhelming tasks and make a difference.

Take the Evexia Mental Health First Aid Challenge. If you’re still not sure how to help your loved one with a mental illness, you can take part in the Evexia Day Programme yourself. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but it will also help you to identify and respond to common mental health challenges and where to turn for additional support and resources.

If you are unsure how to support your loved one with a mental health challenge during the holidays, you can contact the support teams at Evexia by emailing or calling 012 348 8200.

Do you need help coping with the stress of the holidays or the New Year?

The teams at Evexia are ready to help you.

Simply complete the form and we’ll get in touch.