Supporting those in crisis
Posted Monday 6 December 2010
Every day on the Mind infoline I talk to people looking or advice and support for handling their own mental health. But I talk to even more people calling on behalf of someone they care about. I want to dedicate my second blog to all the people who are trying to help friend or family member through a difficult time.
The Mind infoline receives even more calls from people ringing looking for help for someone else than people calling for support for themselves. This can be for several reasons. For example, it might be because the person who needs help isn’t feeling well enough to speak to someone and has asked a friend to ring on their behalf. Other friends and family call up feeling that they can simply no longer cope with the friend or family member or offer the support that they need, or wish that their distress would go away. However, most people who ring are doing it because they are worried about a family member or friend and are looking to get some help for them.
Sometimes people contact us because they are concerned about someone who doesn’t want help. This could be because they are worried about what will happen to them if they ask for help from a GP. I also speak to many people who are looking for support for someone who isn’t aware they need help. At the Mind infoline we help the person find support in their local area, which might be a local Mind association or maybe a counselling service. We also help them find useful information that Mind produces. I have spoken to two different callers this week who were ringing because members of their families were experiencing paranoia and psychosis, respectively. I went through the information on the website we have produced about these diagnoses, in particular the section of the booklets 'How can friends and family help'.
One of the callers was really upset about the situation with her boyfriend, and it was beginning to have a noticeably adverse affect on her own mental health. I went through the information we have to help carers, which includes the booklet How to cope as a carer, as well as the details for some dedicated carers helplines. I also took her through what to do in an emergency, for example having someone assessed under the mental health act and possibly even being sectioned. It was important to discuss this because things had reached the stage where the caller thought her partner was at a point of harming himself. Obviously this can be a really tough decision as it can have a long lasting affect on both individuals and their relationship. The caller became very upset as she faced some difficult choices but thanked me for my time and understanding.
Peter, Mind infoline
Help us to continue providing this essential support and advice. Donate to the Big Give challenge today to support the Mindinfoline throughout January.
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Peter and the Mindinfoline team speak to around 100 callers every day on a variety of different subjects. Peter will be writing a number of blog posts during the Big Give week.
Read his previous post reflecting on callers worried about changes to the welfare system.
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