Sitting on the sidelines watching someone you love struggle is never easy. At Mercy, we think it is important to offer resources for those who are struggling but also for the people in their lives who want to help. As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we want to equip you with practical and loving ways to stand by someone in your life who is struggling in ways that are actually helpful.  

Support Over Help

Oftentimes, the way we approach helping those in our lives who are struggling is actually doing the opposite of helping. Rather than setting out to “help” someone, try taking the mindset of being a support instead. Walking alongside someone as they struggle is always better than trying to “fix” them. We know that it always comes from a place of love, but with the wrong mindset, you risk turning someone’s healing journey into your own.  

Love and encouragement are one way to show your support. It sounds simple, but it is easy to stray away from those two things when you are so desperately trying to help someone you love. Know that you won’t ever fully understand what they are going through because each person’s struggles are unique to them. This can help you be more empathetic and validate that their struggles are real.  

Think about the times you were struggling and the things you didn’t like to hear. What things were or weren’t helpful? Chances are, whoever you are supporting won’t want to hear those things either.   

Point Them to Jesus

Pointing someone to Jesus is another powerful way to support someone you love. Reminding them who they are in Christ and the freedom that only He can provide is truly loving someone. Whether you bring them to church with you on Sunday, offer to take them through a bible study (like our “Keys to Freedom” study), or even sit down and pray with them, you can remind them of Jesus’s love for them. 

Lastly, you ultimately support a loved one who is struggling by encouraging them to seek help from a counselor. A qualified Christian counselor will be able to use the best practices of counseling while bringing the Holy Spirit into the healing process. They will be able to help your loved one with what they need in a more nuanced way than you will ever be able to.  

If you think they would benefit from a residential counseling program, encourage them to apply to Mercy Multiplied here 

A Healthy Support System

Being a healthy support system for someone you love who is struggling is not an easy thing to do. But, by bringing Jesus into the process, offering encouragement, and pointing them in the direction of professional help, you are doing exactly what your loved one needs.  

For more information and resources on how to be a helpful support person to a loved one, visit our Resources for Parents and Others Who Care page here 

Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power.  We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.

Want more resources? Check out our MercyTalk podcast episode “Why we Avoid Getting Help”For daily inspiration, follow us @MercyMultiplied on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter