Transcript: How to Help Offer Support to a Loved One Living with a Mental Health Condition

Gentle music plays.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Offering Support to a Loved One

                                    with a Mental Health Condition

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Julie Hardle shares lessons learned

                                    from her mental health journey

Julie interviews.

JULIE: My name is Julie Hardle. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          1 in 5 Americans will experience a

                                    mental illness in a given year

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

JULIE: 1 in 5 individuals is affected by their own mental health challenge a year. I was very fortunate because very often when a person is diagnosed with serious mental illness there have been a series of events that have taken place. Sometimes they have alienated themselves or been alienated from those that they are close to.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Do you have advice for talking about a

                                    mental health condition with a loved one?

ON SCREEN TEXT:          • Establish trust

                                    • Check in

                                    • Validate their feelings

                                    • Listen

JULIE: Establish trust with that person. To check in with people, and to let them know that you’re gonna check in with them. We can’t solve other people’s problems, that’s typically not what others are looking for. They just want to be heard. We just want somebody to listen. You know, we just want somebody to validate. “Gosh that would be hard.” None of us know what tomorrow is gonna bring, so it’s all about staying present today and just putting one foot in front of the other and helping each other out.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          What steps did your loved ones

                                    take to help support you? 

ON SCREEN TEXT:          • Education about the mental health condition

                                    • Open dialogue about how to support a loved one

JULIE: They educated themselves about bipolar disorder and what that meant. Had very open and honest conversations with me about what kind of support I needed, and what did support look like for me. And just a really good dialogue and exchange about what was I scared about. You know, what was frustrating for me. They can remind you of who you were and who you can be in this moment and going forward. And so, it really makes all the difference in the world. 

A logo fades in over a white background.


ON SCREEN TEXT:          UnitedHealthcare ®

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Every person may experience stress differently. Anyone in need of emotional support is welcome to call the Optum support helpline. Trained mental health specialists are available 24/7. The number is 866-342-6892.