5 Benefits of an Early Mental Health InterventionFebruary 1, 2021
When your loved one is showing signs of a mental health issue, you may be hesitant to do anything that might upset them. You may also be concerned about the stigma of mental health and how that might affect your family. However, when you take the positive steps of reaching out and coordinating an early intervention, you can help your loved one and your other family members tremendously. There are five benefits of an early mental health intervention that are important for the health and well-being of your loved one.
Early Warning Signs
When you are trying to decide whether you need an intervention for your loved one, watch for the warning signs of a developing mental health issue. Catching these signs early will help you and your loved one avoid potentially catastrophic symptoms that could result if the mental health issue goes untreated.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should contact a mental health professional for an early mental health intervention for your loved one.
- Mood changes, including rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions or depressed feelings
- Sleep difficulties
- Appetite changes
- A decline in personal care
- Withdrawal socially, including a loss of interest in activities your loved one previously enjoyed
- Problems with concentration or memory
- Increased sensitivity to sounds, smells, or touch
- Exaggerated beliefs or unusual statements about personal powers, resulting from magical or illogical thinking
- Excessive nervousness, fear, or suspiciousness.
If your loved one exhibits suicidal thoughts or intentions, or thoughts of harming others, you should seek immediate help for them, for their sake as well as for yours.
What You Can Do
It’s best to treat the mental health disorder early in its manifestation, for many reasons. While you cannot control your loved one’s behavior or decision to get treatment, you can take steps to help them recognize their symptoms, understand the consequences of their behaviors, and urge them to seek help. Over a decade of research has shown that early interventions can minimize the symptoms of mental health issues.
Your loved one’s early warning signs can be frightening and disruptive to your life as well as theirs, but you can take steps to help your loved one and yourself. First, arrange for a mental health professional to hold a mental health intervention. Then, learn as much as you can about mental illness, including its signs and symptoms.
Encourage other family members to be involved in the intervention and to learn about mental illness also. When you can comprehend what is happening in your loved one’s brain, you can help them understand the significance of their symptoms, how an illness might develop, and what can be done to help. You should also seek out supportive counseling for yourself and other family members.
Benefits of an Early Mental Health Intervention
Addressing the symptoms of a mental health issue early has many benefits. Delaying treatment can cause more serious disruptions to your loved one’s life, including financial and legal issues. The stigma of mental health can grow more concerning as well, posing a more significant barrier to your loved one’s desire and ability to get help.
An early mental health intervention can:
- Help your loved one get the help they need while you are still able to communicate clearly with them, as mental illness can often affect an individual’s ability to think and speak logically.
- Keep them from injuring themselves physically as their mental illness progresses.
- Encourage a more rapid recovery and less treatment resistance.
- Reduce the disruptions your loved one may experience at work or at school, as well as the disruptions and deteriorations in basic life skills.
- Reduce the risk for suicide, which can be one of the most destructive results of an untreated mental illness.
When mental health treatment is put off, the way your loved one feels about themselves can be adversely affected. The longer you wait to step in with a mental health intervention, the more intense the problems can become. However, when a mental health issue is detected and treated early, those problems can be prevented.
Staging an Early Mental Health Intervention
When someone you love shows signs of a mental health issue, holding an intervention could be the only way to help them understand why and how to seek help. An early intervention can prevent many issues in their life, as they are encouraged to get treatment before it’s too late. If your loved one is struggling with mental illness or an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact Whitman Recovery Service. With more than 30 years of experience, our team can help you stage an intervention with a positive outcome; we have a 98 percent success rate. We are available at (210) 291-0278.