When supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health finding the right words can be difficult, and despite the best of intentions, some comments can do more harm than good.
That’s why Hattie Gladwell, a lifestyle reporter for MetroUK, started the hashtag #ThingsNotToSayToPeopleWithMentalIllness, calling for those with a mental illness to tweet their suggestions in a bid to educate those who don’t understand.
“Quote this tweet with one thing you wish people wouldn’t say to those who have mental illness,” she wrote. “I’ll start: ‘Other people have it worse’. Please don’t invalidate my illness just because you don’t understand it.”
Hattie points out a sensible rule of thumb – if you wouldn't say it to someone experiencing physical ill health, don't say it to someone experiencing mental ill health. And often, it's the most simple statements will suffice.
Are you ok?
How are you?
I am here for you.
If you are worried about yourself or someone in your care, the best thing you can do is talk to someone.
You can contact:
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Lifeline 13 11 14
SANE Australia 1800 187 263