What’s the best way to help a friend, team-mate or partner?
The easiest way to help someone you’re worried about is to give them a safe, non-judgmental space to voice their thoughts. By simply listening to them and being physically and emotionally present, you’ll be far more effective than trying to offer advice.
What to do if you think someone isn't okay
Mental illness effects everyone — we all have struggles throughout our life, so if you suspect someone may be struggling, here are some of the warning signs to look out for:
1. Has their behaviour changed?
Have they recently started taking risks they might not have previously, for example using drugs and/or alcohol, getting into trouble or making strange or unusual life choices?
2. Are they isolating themselves?
Have they started to disengage from activities they would normally enjoy, such as football, lunches, work and social occasions? This can include not wanting to talk, replying to messages or unusual absences from work and cancelling plans.
3. Are they struggling to cope with the 'day-to-day'?
Do they appear overwhelmed with the stresses of day-to-day life? Perhaps work stresses that they may, in ‘normal’ circumstances easily navigate, but now seem too much?
Situations that can trigger this
How you can help
Simply listening and providing a safe, understanding environment for someone to talk openly can be extremely powerful. Below are a list of easy questions that can help open a conversation without being too direct:
‘How are you?’
‘What can i do to help?’
‘What do you need?’
‘Can I support you to get help?’
If you feel someone needs help beyond your ability, or simply want further advice for yourself or a loved one, you can find a list of helpful phone numbers.
If you feel that you or the person in question is unable to stay safe, always contact 999 immediately and seek emergency support.