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Help for mental health can start at home

After years of the pandemic and other stress, many people are struggling with their mental health. Leaning on a partner can be the first step to feeling better.

MINNEAPOLIS — Most of us have been feeling a lot of stress lately, from the years-long pandemic, the economy, and just the normal everyday stuff that can make getting out of bed in the morning feel a little tougher. 

But with all this stress, one local expert said looking for help and support in a partner, or anyone with whom you feel a special connection, can be the first step to feeling better. 

Dr. Meghan Miller is the Clinical Director for the Mental Health and Addiction services at Allina Health, and she offers help and advice for people who want to help their partners, friends and co-workers who might be struggling. 

Asking open-ended questions, like "How are you doing?" or "How was your day at work?" is an easy way to start a conversation. If you can do this on a daily basis, Dr. Miller said you'll let your friend or partner know you're willing to let them vent if they need to, and be there to offer support. 

Sometimes it's easier for someone else to see the signs of increased anxiety or depression that the person themselves could be overlooking. An outside perspective can also help identify when it's time to seek professional help. 

"We all have moments, we all have down days, we all have worries, that's a very natural part of the human experience," Dr. Miller said. 

If you or your partner do need help from a professional, it's important to keep in mind that it's ok to ask for help and that doesn't mean a person is "broken." 

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