With around 1 in 4 people now suffering with a mental health problem each year, it’s more important than ever that we know how to support each other. In today’s post, I am going to share my best tips:
1. Set time aside for them
It’s important to give somebody time to be open in a safe environment, with no distractions. Try not to “grill them” and ask too many questions!
2. Listen, don’t judge
For people to feel validated and heard, it’s vital that they can talk in a non-judgmental environment and be completely honest. Judging only makes it harder for people to talk and adds to the stigma.
3. Ask Twice
As the new Time to Change campaign states, Ask Twice. When a person asks ‘how are you?’ our automatic response is usually ‘I’m fine’. Asking again proves you care about the answer and makes that person feel less alone.
4. Offer help in getting professional support
You may want to offer to go the GP with them, or perhaps provide a list of services or helpline numbers they can access. Sometimes it can be difficult knowing where to turn, therefore giving someone that little extra help can make a massive difference!
5. Take no risks
If you believe someone is in crisis or immediate danger, take action to ensure they are safe. The best option is to ring 999 to have an ambulance come out.
6. Allow them to share as much as they like
It’s important not to pressure somebody into revealing too much or talking about something they don’t wish to. A person should be allowed take the conversation at their own pace and talk about what they feel comfortable with. Talking takes a lot of bravery and courage, especially if it is the first time.
7. Be Patient
It can often take a long time for people to open and feel better- be patient and things will improve in time!
8. Look after yourself and your own wellbeing
When helping other people, it can be easy to neglect your own wellbeing. Sometimes it is best to have time alone and focus solely on self-care- i.e. walking, listening to music, reading etc.
If you have your own ideas or any feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,