The Three Golden E's

It’s often just as hard for the people around than it is for the person suffering. Everyone is different, so support depends on what the person is experiencing.


 
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Educate

By learning about the illness you become more aware on what they’re going through and therefore can empathise with them more. You can do this by choosing trusted websites online or by going to groups for carers. Mind and the NHS website contain a lot of information on mental health disorders. Try talking to a friend or family member to understand what their symptoms are so you can find specified help for them.


Encouragement

Encouraging the person to seek help is a very important part of supporting the person. They may not realise the effects of their illness and may feel uncomfortable about getting help. It’s very hard to admit where you’re failing. So getting treatment may seem like an impossible task. This could be for a number of reasons; they might think they are so unwell that treatment won’t help or they may even be unaware they are unwell. They may be worried about what others may think or worry about the effect on their job and career. By merely talking to them about how they feel it may give them the courage they need to discuss it with a professional. If they don’t seek the help they may need it can lead to a hospital admission, and I’m sure this isn’t wanted by either of you. Preventing this is a big step, which can be achieved with medication or therapy. Once they understand what kind of help is available they may be less reluctant. Notice the positive, and remind them of this. This may just give them the encouragement to carry on and go that bit further.


Empathise

Put yourself in their shoes is a very common expression, but it’s so true. Once you’ve educated yourself you can try and imagine what it’s like for them rather than just yourself. You can understand where they’re coming from and how hard it is for them. Let them know you understand and that you’re there for them. Regularly ask them how they’re feeling and don’t forget to ask them how you can help them more. Keep reminding them that you’re there for them.


It’s often just as hard for the people around than it is for the person suffering. Everyone is different, so support depends on what the person is experiencing.