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Tips for supporting mental health

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● They might appear withdrawn or not want to be around people or socialise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