Learn essential skills to support a family member, friend, or colleague with a mental health challenge

Helping someone with a mental illness can lead to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. This course teaches the skills so that you can feel confident that you know what to say and do.

"My wife recently had a terrifying (for both of us) period of GAD & MDD, and after 4 months is just beginning to come out of it. I've searched the web high and low for helpful resources, and Therapy in a Nutshell has been by far the most helpful."

-Lyle, How to Help student

Learn what to say and do to help others

Someone you care about struggles with depression, anxiety or other mental illness. But if you're like most people, you may feel anxious and uncertain about how to help. This course will teach you the skills to feel confident in knowing what to say and do to help others who are struggling.

In this course, you'll learn to become an influential and positive source of support for your family, friends, and colleagues. I’m going to teach you the changes you can make to be a more effective helper.

What you will learn:

  • How to build a relationship of influence
  • How to set healthy boundaries
  • How to practice self-care so you don't burn out
  • How to develop empathic and reflective listening skills so your loved one will open up to you
  • How to help even if they don't want to talk
  • What to say and what NOT to say
  • How to help them access resources
  • How to find a good therapist
  • How to ask good questions
  • What to do if they won’t get help
  • How to explore relationship dynamics that may be impeding the healing process

You'll learn skills from 15 videos dealing with advanced topics like suicide prevention, recognizing dysfunctional roles, managing attention-seeking behaviors and self-harm, and so much more. 

Your relationship with the person you care about is the most influential factor for change that exists. You can make a big difference in the lives of others. So let’s get started learning how to help.

Learn Essential Skills to Help

  • Learn what to say (and what NOT to say)
  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Develop empathic and reflective listening skills
  • Learn to ask good questions
  • Build a relationship of influence
  • Practice self-care
  • Help your loved one access resources
  • Help them stay safe

Get Certified

  • Learn at your own pace
  • Learn from over 4 hours of content
  • Take quizzes to test your knowledge
  • Earn your certification as a peer-to-peer support specialist

See What Other Students Are Saying

"This is a wonderful course. What every family member needs to better understand what their loved one is feeling. It gets to the heart of the matter. The instructions are concise for such a sensitive, complex topic. I will certainly be checking in often as the journey with my loved one progresses." -Yvonne Evans

About your instructor:

Hi there! I’m Emma McAdam. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and I love helping people change. But I know that understanding mental health can be confusing and stressful. But there is hope! You can change your brain and resolve painful emotions - and I can walk you through that process.

I’ve been working in the field of change and growth since 2004. I’ve worked in settings like juvenile corrections, adventure therapy programs, high schools, wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment centers, and outpatient therapy.

I love helping people change, and I'm willing to be creative in how I help that happen. I take a solution-centered approach with an emphasis on teaching skills to help people find love, purpose, and joy in life. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the world with my husband and daughters, spending time outdoors, taking photos, making stuff, and learning new things.

Emma McAdam

The information in this course is taught by a professional licensed therapist but is not therapy. The information in this course is for education and is not meant to replace actual therapy or instructions given by a personal therapist. It's an additional tool to use for those supporting others with mental illness and a supplement to those supporting friends and loved ones currently under the care of a local professional therapist.

This course in not medical advice. Please consult your primary care physician, therapist, or other mental health professional for individualized medical advice.