Support & Advice for Someone Else

When people are struggling with their mental health, they may reach out to someone close to them, whether that’s a friend, family member or colleague. There may be times when you notice changes in someone’s behaviour that cause you concern. Whatever the circumstance, there are ways you can help.

Having a conversation

Talking about mental health isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s even harder to say how you really feel. But a conversation has the power to change lives. Here’s some examples on how you could start a conversation about mental health:

  • I’m here to listen if there’s anything you want to share. You don’t have to go through this alone.
  • I’ve noticed that you haven’t seemed like yourself lately. Is everything okay?
  • I want you to know that you’re not alone in this. I’m here for you, no matter what.
  • It means a lot to me that you’re comfortable sharing your feelings with me. Let’s figure out how we can support you together.

Listening

Sitting back and listening when someone is having a difficult time can have a big impact. It may have taken a lot for someone to share how they’re feeling. Try to have open body language and be fully present in the conversation.

Knowing they are not alone can be the first step to getting help.

Being patient

Be patient and allow them to say what they need to. Try not to give advice straight away, and if you do ask questions, make sure they are open-ended, giving the person space to express how they feel. Always allow them to move at their own pace. This will support the conversation, and help them to open up.

Keeping in touch

Keeping in contact with someone after a conversation is important. People often express feeling uncomfortable when family and friends begin acting differently around them, which can be challenging. It’s important to be mindful of this and continue inviting them to social events or engaging in conversations about other aspects of their life.

Finding support

Have they thought about what might help? Often people will have an idea but are not able to act on this.

  • You can find out what support is available that you can share.
  • Encourage the person to seek support from their GP or offer to attend the appointment with them.
  • Ask if there is anything you can help with that will make things a little easier, such as giving them a lift somewhere or helping with childcare.
  • Educate yourself on different types of mental health and how they can affect and impact someone. This will help you understand better what someone may be experiencing.

Remember to look after yourself too

It is also important to look after your own mental health during this time. You are not alone, there are great services part of the UOK network and the wider Brighton and Hove community that can offer advice and support for family and friends.

Getting urgent support

If someone is in immediate danger call 999. To find out what other options are available click the ‘Get urgent support’ button below.