The Importance of "Checking In" on Our Loved Ones
October is Depression Screening Awareness Month. This is the perfect occasion to remind ourselves that depression can be a silent mental health condition, so it is crucial that we are reaching out to the ones we love to share our support.
Some signs/signals that someone MAY be struggling with depression:
Withdrawal from social situations
Lack of participation in activities normally enjoyed
Feelings of worthlessness
Sadness or hopelessness
Sleeping more or less
Eating more or less
Thoughts of death or suicide
Being overly emotional or lacking emotion
Even with these symptoms, it may be difficult to tell if someone close to you is struggling. So we urge you to check in and let your loved ones know you're there for them. Also encourage them to seek help, or contact NAMI KDK at 630-896-6264 to see what care options exist in our community.
Here are a few easy ways to reach out:
Make time to grab a coffee and catch up, or other ways to have quality time
Focus on asking them how they are doing, and less about offering your "two cents"
Offer your support as someone nonjudgmental to confide in
Make a meal or bring them a small gift
Write them a letter or send them a video of you sharing your favorite things about them
Be proactive by letting those close to you know how much you love them
Call NAMI KDK to find out about professional support options to share with your loved ones
Listen and validate their feelings
Discuss well-being and support self-care
Try not to compare their experiences to yours, even if they are similar (it helps to know that each person has their own unique story)
Creating a safe space to disclose information about feelings and a possible mental health condition is very important to establish preventatively. No matter how soon it is established, a safe space can make a huge difference in helping someone out. While we believe reaching out and allowing our loved ones to feel comfortable talking to us is so important, we understand that this can be difficult. Self care is important, and we need to know our limits as a confider or a listener. At any step in this process, NAMI KDK is always here to help. We provide support to those experiencing a mental health condition and their loved ones, and we will always be here for YOU. <