Need help in supporting your own or someone else's mental health? Here are some top tips to get you started:
How can you spot if a family member or friend is struggling with their mental health?
● Their behaviour might change suddenly, or over time
● They might have mood swings or appear anxious
● They might appear withdrawn or not want to be around people or socialise
● They might not feel able to cope with studying or working
● They may self-harm or express suicidal thoughts, such as saying they don’t want to be here anymore
What can you do to help someone who’s struggling?
● Start a conversation and encourage them to tell you what they’re struggling with
● Be accepting of their thoughts and feelings and reassure them that you’re there to listen
● Try not to give advice; listen, reflect what you hear, be kind and compassionate
● Encourage them to talk to their GP, a mental health professional or a person they trust who will support them to take further action if necessary
● Let them know that they are not alone - support that is available such as Shout, CALM or Samaritans
How can you look after your own mental health?
● Set aside time for ‘self-care’ to listen to music, watch your favourite TV show or any activity that helps you relax
● Writing down your thoughts and your feelings can help you feel more in control
● Boost your mental wellbeing with physical exercise - even 10 minutes of brisk walking can help
● Limit your social media usage before bed to help you get a good night’s sleep. Charge your phone outside your bedroom overnight
● Connect with people who support you