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What's the best way to help a friend, team-mate or partner?

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What to do if you think someone isn't okay

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.

Mental illness affects everyone — we all have struggled throughout our life. If you suspect someone may be struggling, you can use the information below to make them feel safe and valued.

Warnings signs to look out for

Open conversation

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?

People playing football

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?

Mental health awareness

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.

Situations that can trigger this

There are many situations that can trigger mental illness. These include:

Relationship and family problems
Experiencing a loss
Physical disability or illness
Build-up of day-to-day stresses
Money worries
Loneliness
Loss of a job
Bullying
Addiction

How you can help

Simply listening and providing a safe, understanding environment for someone to talk openly can be extremely powerful. Below is 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?’

Useful numbers

If you feel that someone needs help beyond your ability, or you want further advice for yourself or a loved one, here is a list of useful contacts:

Samaritans

Samaritans

116 123

Breathing Space

Breathing Space

0800 83 85 87

Emergency services

If you feel that you or the person in question is unable to stay safe, always contact 999 immediately and seek emergency support.