You don’t need to be an expert to talk about mental health, just be there.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Take the lead: If you know someone has been unwell, don’t be afraid to ask how they are.
- Don’t avoid the issue: If someone comes to you to talk don’t brush it off - it may have been a really hard step for them to take.
- Talk, but listen too. Simply being there will mean a lot.
- Avoid clichés: Phrases like “Cheer up”, “I’m sure it’ll pass”, “Pull yourself together” definitely won’t help the conversation. Being open minded, non-judgmental and listening will.
- Don’t just talk about mental health: Mental health is just one part of the person and people don’t want to be defined by it. Make sure you continue to talk about the things you’ve always talked about.
- Remind them you care: Small things can make a big difference
- Be patient: Ups and downs can happen.
Actions are important too, so think about staying in touch with a text, email, or note to let someone know you are thinking about them.
If you’re experiencing problems with your mental health or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help on our support page.