We all go through tough times and people help us through them. Other times we have been worried about other people’s mental health. Whether they are a friend, family member or colleague, there are many ways to support somebody you care about.
Sometimes it will seem obvious when someone is going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem. It’s more important to respond sensitively to someone who seems troubled than to find out whether or not they have a diagnosis.
Although certain symptoms are common with specific mental health problems, If you know the person well, you may notice changes in their behavior or mood.
When you are aware there is an issue, it is important not to wait. Waiting and hoping they will come to you for help might lose valuable time in getting them support.
Talking to someone is often the first step to take when you know they are going through a hard time. This way you can find out what is troubling them and what you can do to help.
If it is a family member or close friend you are concerned about, they might not want to talk to you. Try not to take this personally, talking to someone you love can be difficult as they might be worried they are hurting you. It is important to keep being open and honest and telling them that you care. It may also be helpful to give them information of organisations or people they can reach out to.
People with mental health problems sometimes experience a crisis, such as feeling suicidal, or experiencing their own or a different reality. There are some general strategies that you can use to help:
- Listen without making judgments .
- Ask them what would help them.
- Avoid confrontation.
- Ask if there is someone they would like you to contact.
- Encourage them to seek appropriate professional help.
- If they have hurt themselves, make sure they get the first aid they need
- Seeing, hearing or believing things that no-one else does can be the symptom of a mental health problem. It can be frightening and upsetting. Gently remind the person who you are and why you are there. Don’t reinforce or dismiss their experiences, but acknowledge how the symptoms are making them feel.
- Consult with a doctor ,try to understand them and fully support them in their difficult time