Be A Mental Health Ally
A mental health ally is someone who, through words and actions, helps create a mental health-friendly environment for those around them. Anyone can be a mental health ally—anyone within the family, from the friend circle at school, college, or work.
How To Be A Mental Health Ally?
You can be a mental health ally by:
Normalizing discussions around mental health:
- Starting conversations about mental health, by asking your peers how they are doing.
- Sharing your own mental health struggles.
Creating a safe space for people to talk:
Letting your friends know you are there for them, if they need to talk, and if they decide to share with you,
- Listen patiently
- Do not judge, or blame them
- Empathize with them— “I can see that this is upsetting for you.”
- Do not offer advice, unless they ask you
- Do not pressurize them to talk about something, that they don’t want to
- Respect their personal boundaries
Information shared with you must be strictly confidential. If there is danger to them or to someone else, then you must share only that information that’s relevant to get them the help they need; while conveying that it continues to be a safe space.
Getting them help when they need it:
As a mental health ally, there is only so much you can do. It is important to understand your limitations as a family member, friend, or peer. When you are unable to adequately support them, refer them to Mann Talks and ask them to call our helpline.
- Gatekeeping 101