Not all people are gracious enough to help other neighbours let alone understand or endure their shortcomings. For those with neighbours, friends or family members with mental conditions (those who are enduring and suffering depression, schizophrenia and dementia), they should be gracious enough to look out for them. People suffering from mental conditions are struggling enough it will not do them good if we judge them and discriminate.
Let us all make a difference by making the lives of mentally ill neighbours easier and forget about stigmas that are usually associated with mental illness. As a neighbour or a concerned citizen, it is important to overcome the stigmas associated with mental illness.
Stigma means someone is judging someone basing on his/her personal traits. Stigma can either be subtle or obvious depending on the person judging and how the mentally ill takes it. If you understand the mentally ill, there will not be problem. Apart from overcoming stigmas, here are some things that you can do for your mentally ill neighbours:
The basic thing that you can do is accept the person. There is no use looking back to the person he/she was once. Senile dementia or mental deterioration for example is related to old age. You cannot just wish that he/she will get younger so you can restore your likeness to him/her. Accepting them and living with that will help a lot.
Take Them seriously
Sometimes, mentally ill people do things out of the ordinary. It is important that you do not laugh at him/her or make fun of him/her. They have feelings too you know. It can reduce their self confidence and self worth. You should take him/her seriously.
Separate the Disorder from the Person
Think that the disorder and the person are different, that they are not the same. For example, if your neighbour or loved one was once happy and cheerful, you should still see them like that despite the illness that they have.