If you feel that a friend or loved one has a problem and needs professional help, this step-by-step guide will give you the tools to approach, engage, and support him or her. Just about everyone knows a relative, friend, or coworker who is exhibiting signs of emotional or behavioral turmoil. Yet figuring out how to reach out to that person can feel insurmountable. We know it is the right thing to do, yet many of us hesitate to take action out of fear of conflict, hurt feelings, or damaging the relationship.
Through a rich combination of user-friendly tools and real-life stories, Mark S. Komrad, MD, offers step-by-step guidance and support as you take the courageous step of helping a friend who might not even recognize that he or she is in need. He guides you in developing a strong course of action, starting by determining when professional help is needed, then moves you through the steps of picking the right time, making the first approach, gathering allies, selecting the right professional, and supporting friends or relatives as they go through the necessary therapeutic process to resolve their problems.
Included are scripts based on Komrad's work with his own patients, designed to help you anticipate next steps and arm you with the tools to respond constructively and compassionately. You will also find the guidance and information needed to understand mental illness and get past the stigma still associated with it, so you can engage and support your loved one with insight and compassion in his or her journey toward emotional stability and health.
Mark S. Komrad, MD, is an award-winning (Mental Health Professional of the Year Award from NAMI Baltimore) psychiatrist on the teaching staff of Johns Hopkins, as well as the director of clinical ethics at the prestigious Baltimore-based Sheppard Pratt hospital, where he teaches psychiatric residents. Dr. Komrad has over 25 years of experience providing treatment as well as consulting those struggling to convince a reluctant loved one to get professional help. He appears regularly on public radio, television and has had numerous articles and columns published in professional journals, newspapers, and on mental health websites. Dr. Komrad lives in Towson, Maryland.