Helping Others

Experiencing a mental health problem can be very traumatic and isolating.

If you suspect someone may be experiencing a mental health problem, mental illness or suicidal thoughts, talking about it may really help in putting them on the road to recovery.

If you are worried about someone’s mental health, starting the conversation may not be as difficult as you think. You might be worried that the other person doesn’t want to talk about mental health. If that's the case, don't worry; you can’t force them to talk to you. You may also be afraid that you will not know how to offer help. However, lots of support is available.

Talking is important – it can really help change someone’s life for the better.

Whilst every situation is different, here are some ways to approach that difficult conversation.

How do you know there’s a problem?

Many people prefer not to talk about our problems. Needing help can be seen as weak. But if friends or loved ones don’t tell us something’s bothering them, how are we supposed to know?

Sometimes they can put out some signals. The signs are often there if we know what to look out for. Here are some of the ways that people signal that they may need help:

  • Putting themselves down in serious or jokey ways: "Oh, no one loves me" or "I’m a waste of space."
  • Losing interest in their appearance.
  • Using drugs and/or alcohol as a comfort.
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits.
  • Being uncharacteristically clumsy or accident prone.
  • Making leading statements, like "You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through" or "Someone up there’s got it in for me."