When someone comes up to you and ask you to talk to them about the mental health of you ask someone to talk about it. Make sure to follow the following points to not make the situation awkward for the person and make them comfortable enough to talk about everything in their heart and mind.
· Let them know you are listening
Tell them that you are listening to them and that you are therefore them. Let them feel comfortable around you, be sincere and realise that there is something really serious you are going to converse about. Don’t make jokes or laugh in such situation. This will make the person feel conscious and won’t be able to talk freely.
· Don’t be judgemental
Not everyone has to have a serious problem in life to be depressed. Depression can come for any reason and at any age. Don’t be judgemental if the person is talking about something absolutely normal for you. Every person has a different melting point, the situation you find normal might not be normal for the other person. So don’t be quick to judge and don’t pass comments like this is normal everyone goes through this and there’s nothing to cry about.
· Don’t jump in with solutions
When someone is sharing their problems with you, don’t give solutions until they ask you to. They are just talking with you to free their mind. Let them finish the conversation until then be silent except for a few questions you need to ask in between. After they finish, if they ask for advice then give them one if you have any or else you must shut your mouth. Sometimes all they want is someone to listen, so be there and listen to them.
· Empathise with them
Empathise with them, let them know that you understand their situation and you feel what they are feeling. Acknowledge their pain, show that you care about their feelings. Be supportive, don’t let them down, don’t hurt their self-esteem. There’s no script for how to be empathic but just be there and understand them without judgements.
· Be patient
Being patient with them is very important, they might cry while talking, they might repeat the same things many times, etc. You have to understand their situation and patiently deal with them. Don’t be in a hurry to solve everything, at times you need to go slow to solve the issue completely.