5 Ways to Best Support the Mental Health of a Loved One

Available for Interviews: Dr. Pete Loper

Dr. Pete Loper, MD, MSEd, FAAP, is a triple board-certified physician in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry. He is also a professor and executive coach and is dedicated to mental health and wellness advocacy.

What Dr. Loper could say on
Supporting Mental Wellbeing of Loved Ones:

Especially in these turbulent times, we need better strategies and tools to best support our loved ones who may be experiencing mental health challenges. Here are 5 ways we can help:

    1.  The best way to support someone living with a mental illness is to be fully present, engaged, and available for them.
    2.  The concept of “befriending”, or engaging in consistent, meaningful interpersonal interactions is an evidence-based intervention to support those with mental illness, particularly those suffering from depression. 
    3. To help you maximize your ability to provide support, educate yourself about your friend or loved one’s diagnosis.
    4.  There are multiple resources to help you learn more about the mental illness or condition that someone you care about might be suffering from. National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, is a great place to start.  
    5.  Self-care includes time away from caretaking, exercise, good nutrition,  and sufficient sleep are very important for caregivers providing support for those with mental illness. There are also multiple support groups for those who care for loved ones with mental illness. Again, NAMI, and specifically the NAMI Family Support Group page, is a great place to identify these resources. 

If you suspect a friend, family member, or loved one is actively suicidal then you should immediately call 911 and request EMS transport to the nearest emergency room. 

 

Interview: Dr. Pete Loper

Dr. Pete Loper began his undergraduate studies in English at Kenyon College prior to completing his premedical coursework and Bachelor of Arts at the University of South Carolina (U of SC).  He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, and his Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  Following medical school, Dr. Loper completed a residency in pediatrics. He then worked as a pediatrician in a private practice setting while completing a second residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.  He has also completed the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Psychoanalytic Fellowship Program and the Teleos Leadership Institute’s Coach Development Program.

Dr. Loper has been featured in numerous academic publications and media outlets and it is through these channels that he can dedicate his time to being an advocate for mental health and wellness.

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