National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from FaithNet NAMI

How can we help carry the burden of someone who has a mental illness?


  1. Be there!!! Show up!!!
  2. Listen without a judgmental attitude.
  3. Communicate.Listen as a person, not as a learned religious figure. Share your thoughts and feelings.
  4. Empower by demonstrating that you believe in him or her.
  5. Ask what you can do to make a difference. Ask, "What can I do to help?"
  6. If it seems indicated, refer him or her to persons specially trained to help with mental illness issues. If necessary, make the appointment and/or provide transportation
  7. If medication has been prescribed, reassure him or her that it is almost always necessary for those with a serious mental illness and that it can enable one to function very well.
  8. Reassure your friend that God is constantly with him or her, even if he or she can't sense it at that moment.
  9. Follow through and come back to see your friend when he or she is feeling well.