If you are worried about someone’s mental health the most important thing to do is to let the person know that you are there for them. They may want to talk to you but equally they might not want to, however, it is important to show that you are there for them, even if they don’t want to talk right away. The person might be worried themselves, feeling alone, distressed, or they might be fine.
There is a lot of stigma around mental health which can mean people don’t talk about the way they are feeling. The more conversations we have about mental health, the better this will get.
If you have tried talking and you are still worried, just being patient and supportive can help. Don’t pester or press the person. They might want you to just sit with them, or to know that you are around.
If you’re worried about a loved one or family member, you might want to seek out online support as there are many support forums for relatives and friends.
It might be that you are so worried that you want to seek professional advice, in which case you could raise your concerns with the persons GP, however, they will not be able to talk to you about another person without their permission.
Remember though, that if someone is really struggling, it’s best to be honest about your concerns as taking action behind the person’s back will most likely be unhelpful.
If you are seriously concerned about someone’s safety, you need to act – find out about crisis services in your area.
National contact details
- Samaritans – 116 123
- NHS (non-emergency) – 111
- NHS (for life-threatening emergency) – 999
- Hopeline (Papyrus) – 0800 068 4141
Real Life Experience
If you’d like to share your experiences of supporting someone you were worried about, please email [email protected]