Words have power. They can hurt but they can also heal.
This is something I read and modified from the dbsalliance website. I also made a youtube video
People living with mental illnesses often experience symptoms like feeling hopeless, empty or worthless. You may want to say something to make the person feel better, but not know what to say. Are there comments you should avoid?
If your loved one is experiencing ongoing thoughts of suicide or is in immediate danger, contact a doctor, got to a hospital emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
Remember to take care of yourself so you are able to be there for your loved one. Find support for yourself with understanding friends or relatives or in therapy of your own.
As a friend or family member of someone with a mental illness your support is an important part of working toward wellness. Don’t give up hope.
Treatment for mental illness does work, and people with mental illnesses can and do live productive and thriving lives.
What you say
Some things could be hurtful:
It’s all in your head
We all go through times like this
Look on the bright side
You have so much to live for
What do you want me to do? I can’t change your situation
Just snap out of it
You’ll be fine. Stop worrying
What could help:
I understand you have a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts/feelings
I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel but I care about you and want to help
When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one day, hour, minute-whatever you can manage
You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
Tell me what I can do now to help you
You might not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.