10 Things to Say to Someone with Mental Illness

Hey everyone, Angela here, my passion is to break the stigma of mental health issues among fellow Christians. I’m here to help you live a life of purpose—in your relationship with God and with one another.

Today we’re gonna talk about 10 Things to Say to Someone with Mental Illness.

When we don’t know what to say, we either: Say nothing or say something that we SHOULDN’T say. I covered those in my last video. Let’s divert some of those uncomfortable moments with these 10 things to say to someone with mental illness.

#1: Say I love you: Seems pretty obvious right? It’s not. I remember my husband telling me that he didn’t realize that I truly loved him until he was facing his diagnosis with bipolar. When I stood by him, loving him through everything he was facing—he finally believed he was loved.

#2: Say you’re not alone: Facing mental illness is one the most isolating experiences EVER and no one heals in isolation.

#3: Say I see you: There’s just something about someone acknowledging the fact that you are fighting for your life. I will never forget the day my sister called my husband to tell him how much she admires him for never giving up on our family. The look on his face said it all. We all long to be seen, and to be recognized for what we are going through.

#4: Say you’re valuable: Many of us can struggle with knowing our true value as a child of God, but for some reason, this struggle is even more profound for those with mental illness. They desperately need people around them who will speak life and truth about their inherent value and even their natural strengths and abilities.

#5: Say I’m listening: I like to get things done, I like to take action and solve problems so listening hasn’t always been my strong suit. But the year my daughter was diagnosed with ADD I learned to shut my mouth. I knew that if I wanted to have credibility with her I had to lean in and listen. It’s paid off in a big way!

#6: Say I’m praying for you: Now remember, this isn’t “I’m praying you’ll get off your medications” It’s: I’m praying you’ll have strength, wisdom, courage or hope.

#7: Say What do you need?: When you have the flu or are down with a bad back people know what to do. They bring meals, watch your kids, take you to the dr. But because people don’t generally think of mental illness in the same way as other illness. Offer to help—it will make a world of difference.

#8: Say Can I come with you to a counseling apt?: Counseling can be emotionally draining and it’s amazing how helpful the simple gift of presence can be. Your loved one might even want to you attend a therapy session with them in order to gain a greater understanding of what they are going through.  

#9: Say I’m not leaving: People with mental illness often feel like they are a burden to those around them. They wonder if people might rather abandon the relationship altogether. Affirming your commitment to them is powerful.

#10: Say It won’t always be like this: Offering hope for a brighter future is crucial because most of the time it’s just really hard to see past the painful present.

So what’s missing from this list? What encouraging things have people said or done for you? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Please subscribe for more videos. I’ll be sharing great tips and encouragement for whatever your facing—whether you’re struggling with mental illness or have a loved one who is.  

See you next time!