Table of Contents
One of the most important factors in our ability to achieve goals and operate effectively within our communities is communication. The purpose of communication is to convey information and develop understanding between yourself and another person. Being able to communicate well is especially important when dealing with a mental health concern. Talking with your healthcare providers, mental health professionals, as well as your friends and loved ones, is an important factor in mental health treatment and recovery.
Communication Is Key
Throughout the process of developing better mental health, communication is key. You will need to be able to talk about your symptoms and how they are affecting your life with your treatment team. They will use the information you are giving them to recommend medication and therapy options. It is crucial to be able to communicate clearly with them so that they know how best to support you.
During mental health treatment and recovery, you will need to communicate with your loved ones and friends. By being open and honest, you will be building a foundation of support that will be essential to managing your recovery. You will also be helping spread awareness and reducing stigmas that surround mental health challenges. Communication is the best way to help people understand you and your needs in recovery.
Having healthy conversations about mental health challenges you may be facing can feel intimidating and overwhelming. There are some tips and strategies that can help you be successful in having constructive conversations about your mental health.
2 Ways to Prepare for Communication
- Take the time to organize your thoughts. Think about what you are trying to communicate and figure out what the most important points are. Do you want the other person to understand your symptoms? Is it more important they understand what kind of support you need? Maybe it is both or something else entirely. You are the only one who can decide what information you want to convey.
- Write down the main points you want to communicate and practice what you want to say. Sometimes when discussing something that is as intensely personal as mental health concerns, it is easy to get flustered. By writing down the key information, you will have a visual reminder of what direction you want the conversation to take. If you practice out loud, you will be able to remember what you want to say during the conversation.
4 Strategies for Communicating Effectively
Once you are feeling prepared to communicate, there are some strategies that can help you be more clear and more effective. Finding communication strategies you feel comfortable with is an important part of finding your voice.
#1. Create a Communication-Friendly Space
In order to make sure that you will be able to have a successful conversation, you will need to pick your environment and timing wisely. Make sure that you are in a place that is quiet and free from distractions. Choose a time and place that will help both of you be comfortable. For example, a quiet bench in a park might be a better option than a noisy family dinner to have a conversation about mental health.
#2. Use ‘I Statements’
When entering a conversation, you are the expert on what you are thinking and feeling. Using I statements helps you remember to focus on your own feeling and experiences. This is especially useful when setting boundaries and encouraging open dialogue. For example, instead of saying something like, “You need to reach out to me more often,” you can say, “I would really value more frequent communication from my loved ones.”
#3. Be Honest and Use Clear Language
Sometimes in an effort to make the difficult conversation easier, you may be tempted to downplay your own feelings or deliver an overly complicated explanation. It is crucial that you speak your truth in clear and concise language. This will ensure that the conversation is effective.
#4. Repeat Back
A crucial part of communication is active listening. While you are expressing yourself, you also need to pay attention when the other person is responding. An excellent way to do this is to repeat it back. Think about what they are trying to communicate and repeat it back to them in your own words. This will help eliminate any miscommunications. For example, “You mentioned that you didn’t fully understand how I was feeling before recovery. Is that right?”
Where to Find Extra Support
If you find yourself needing extra support in preparing for and having conversations about mental health, that is okay. Speaking with a therapist or developing communication skills in a group therapy setting can be excellent tools. Alter Wellness Care is committed to providing every client with the tools and support they need to be successful in all areas of their lives. Our compassionate team will listen to your needs and find the best treatment plan to meet them.
Communicating about mental health challenges can be one of the most difficult steps you have to take when seeking treatment or entering recovery. Communication is key when it comes to expressing your needs, setting healthy boundaries, and addressing the concerns of friends or family. At Alter Wellness Care, we are committed to helping our clients achieve all of their goals, including communicating effectively with your treatment team and circle of support. Our treatment plans include a variety of services designed to help you develop the skills and tools you need to navigate treatment and recovery. Call us today at (866) 311-3510 for more information about how we can support you.