I recently attended a Mental Health First Aid training, and it occurred to me that often it’s a family member or friend who is the first one to bring a health issue to our attention.
Health concerns can be kind of a tough topic to breach with someone we care about, because we want to respect their privacy and don’t want to overstep or offend. Yet we can’t help but worry and we want to offer support such as suggesting places like arc drug rehab portsmouth where we know they can get the treatment they need to get better.
Unfortunately, when talking about health concerns that involve addiction and substance abuse, it can be common that loved ones don’t open up about their struggle. Those caught in a circle of addiction will often hide it from their families out of shame (for example, someone looking to stop masturbating) and the need for more drugs; worryingly, this can be just as prevalent in our children as it is adults. Sometimes, when family members aren’t opening up, the only way to confront the issue is with a home drug test. With conclusive results, discussions can be made and a plan of action can be put in place to tackle the issue.
As far as physical health goes, learning how to properly perform first aid or CPR through an organization like Coast2Coast First Aid and Aquatics could massively benefit a loved one if an unfortunate incident takes place. But regardless of the issue, here’s a way to voice your concerns about the mental, emotional or physical health of someone you care about:
1) Demonstrate respect:
I have a concern I want to talk to you about.
When would be a good time for us to talk in private?
2) Describe your concern briefly, using the
most objective and non-accusatory language you
I know you quit smoking last year, and I’ve been
smelling smoke on your clothing for the past few days.
Is everything ok? I just want to let you know that I care
about you and I’m here if you want to talk about anything.
3) Listen without judging or offering advice.
This will be really hard to do, but it’s imperative in
order to keep the lines of communication open for
4) Do not threaten, lecture, or give ultimatums.
Instead, offer your support and encourage them
to speak to their doctor or seek counseling if they,
too, are concerned.
5) End with reassurance that you care about them
and want the best in life for them. Invite them to come
and talk to you anytime without fear of judgment.
6) Seek support for yourself. Find a friend or counselor
you can vent your worries and fears to, or connect with
one of the many support groups for loved ones of folks
with health or substance issues. You don’t have to go
Want to learn more about helping a loved one with addiction? I highly recommend Beyond Addiction by Foote and Wilkens et al. They also have a blog: http://motivationandchange.com/cmcs-blog-for-individuals-and-families/