Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Coping with a mental illness can be challenging. Talk to your doctor or therapist about improving your coping skills, and consider these tips:

  • Learn about your mental illness. Include your family, too — this can help the people who care about you understand what you're going through and learn how they can help. Your doctor or therapist may provide information directly or may recommend classes, books or websites.
  • Join a support group. Connecting with others facing similar challenges can help you cope. Support groups for mental illness are available in many communities and online. One good place to start is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  • Stay connected with friends and family. Try to participate in social activities, and get together with family or friends regularly. Ask for help when you need it, and be upfront with your loved ones about how you're doing.
  • Keep a journal. Keeping track of your personal life can help you and your mental health provider identify what triggers or improves your symptoms. It's also a healthy way to explore and express pain, anger, fear and other emotions.
Sep. 15, 2012