It is no doubt that mental illness is a saddening disorder that affects not only the individual suffering from it but their family and friends as well. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness, it is most likely that you will do anything you can to help them overcome this phase. The best way to do this is by being there for them and knowing the warning signs to look out for. In addition, it could possibly help by planning an intervention for mental health issues.

The intervention for mental illness can be a great way for you and other people who care about the individual to express your concern and offer help to them. Overall, the intention of interventions is together in a formal setting with all the loved ones and help from a professional interventionist. This way the individual struggling with mental illness can see how much support they have, and feel encouraged to seek some form of treatment. 

Intervention for Mental Illness

Mental Health conditions a lot of times are co-occurring with substance abuse and alcoholism. We often see cases with drug addiction occurring with other behavioral health problems, causing a complicated and multifaceted situation both for the family and the person that is struggling.

A lot of people might be unaware that the root cause of their substance abuse problem actually comes from some form of mental illness. Untreated depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia can be the most common mental diseases that people try to escape through drugs or alcohol. Whether they are aware of it or not, underlying negative effects of such mental illness can increase or become worse through the abuse of drug and alcohol. In this case, it is especially important for the individual to receive an intervention.

In many cases, professional treatment is required, such as a residential treatment facility to get the help for your loved one that they need. Our mental health and addiction hotline are available 24/7 to help answer any questions you may have.

What is an intervention?

An intervention, whether for addiction or for mental illness, is a carefully planned strategic process that can be conducted by friends and family and directed by an interventionist. The point of an intervention is to “intervene” with the person of concern and their life-debilitating struggles. The family and friends of the individual gather to meet and express their care and offer hope for recovery. 

How to Plan a Mental Illness Intervention

Careful Planning.

Making a plan is the first step where family and friends plan who will be included in their group. Find a professional interventionist who assists in organizing an effective intervention. Structure how the meeting will begin, who will talk first, how the encouragement to seek help will be presented, and how the meeting will end. Prepare for emotional outbreaks and possible arguments if the individual is prone to do so. Plan on where to meet, what time to meet, and how long the meeting will last.

Gather all the necessary information and do your research.

Find out the extent of your loved one’s mental illness. Research all about their specific conditions, symptoms, and possible treatment options. Members of the intervention for mental illness may also initiate arrangements to enroll your loved one into a treatment program as well.

Form your team.

The group should consist of those closest to your loved one and those that have a meaningful relationship with him or her. Family, friends, relatives, and children (if the children are of an appropriate age). This is also the time where you decide on the time and location of the intervention.

  • Decide on consequences for specific scenarios. In other words, what this means is that if your loved one refuses to accept treatment or continuously denies the fact that he or she has a problem, each individual participating in the intervention should already have a plan on what action they will take.
  • Each family member or friend included in the intervention for mental illness should make notes on what to say. Be sure to include specific events where their illness led to problems, emotional distress or even financial issues.
  • Discuss how their illness affects the lives of those around him or her while expressing your state of concern.
  • Without revealing the fact that you are staging an intervention for mental illness, ask your loved one to meet up at that specific location or take him or her.  
  • After a successful professional intervention, it is critical to follow up with your loved one struggling with mental illness. This includes simple things such as adjusting their environment, keep up with therapy, finding a recreational hobby among other things.

Interventions are highly charged situations and have the potential to cause anger, a sense of betrayal to your sick loved one or even resentment

Staging a Successful Intervention for Mental Illness

Consult an intervention professional before taking it upon yourself to stage an intervention.

The professional will help you in organizing an effective intervention. Take into consideration your loved one’s specific disorder.  Interventionists will suggest the best approach to the situation as well as guide you into the right treatment options.

Who Exactly Should Be Included in an Intervention?

A typical intervention should consist of persons important to the patient. This includes persons that the mentally challenged person loves, depends on, respects or has a relationship with.

Do not include persons who:

  • Your loved one dislikes
  • Also has mental health issues or an addiction problem
  • May not be able to limit what he or she says or filter their phrases
  • Might sabotage the intervention

Ensuring That Your Intervention Has a Positive Outcome

  • Be sure to take careful and adequate amounts of time in planning the intervention. Do not hold an intervention on the spur of the moment.

  • Stay on track. The professional interventionist will ensure that things go as planned. Make sure each person gets equal amounts of time to speak to their loved one.

  • Share information and rehearse. Each intervention participant should be on the same page, no surprises. This can lead to chaos and unwanted tension. This is also the perfect time to decide who speaks first and seating arrangements if necessary.

  • Be prepared and avoid confrontation as much as possible. What this means is that for every negative reaction that your loved one may pose, you should remain calm and offer support. This makes them become more trusting and not feel ganged upon. Be sure to have respect, show concern, show your loved one that regardless of their illness, you are there for them and will do anything in your power to help them get better.

  • Try to get an immediate decision on treatment from your loved one struggling with mental illness. That is, do not allow your loved one to have any time to continue denying their problem or refusing treatment. It is imperative to also already have a treatment program ready and already decided on.

Drug Intervention Resources

Regardless of the situation, be emotionally prepared and remain hopeful for a positive change.