Concerned about a friend? Yourself?
Go to a caring adult or a Guidance Counsellor if you need help.
There are people who want to help and see you succeed, but it’s not always clear that someone is struggling with their mental wellness. By reaching out, you’re opening the door for people to offer their help, support and show compassion.
Reach out to someone you love, respect or trust. Begin a conversation.
Reach out to someone in need. Reach out for yourself.
We as humans depend on each other for care and support in times of need. When someone is struggling with mental health, it’s important to reach out as a friend to offer your support and help.
When reaching out to a friend, remember that you may not be able to fix their problem. Ask questions to offer your support, such as “Hey, you look upset, can I help or listen?” or offer to just simply be with them in silence. Just sitting with a friend or offering to go for a walk shows you are willing to be patient and support them when they are ready.
“I can’t tell you what will happen, but I can tell you I am your friend and I am going to stand by you because I really care about you and want you to feel well again.”
Family can play an important role in helping a child or teen who’s feeling unwell, alone and ashamed. They are not to blame for their illness, but they may feel that they are, or may be getting that message from others. You can help encourage hope. Try to be as supportive, understanding and as patient as possible.
The best thing any parent or family can do to support a child or teen is to reach out and create a strong support network. Any illness should be treated with love and unconditional support.
If several of the following are occurring, reach out to a friend, family member or to a mental health professional:
The most responsible thing you can do if you feel a friend or family member is experiencing mental illness is to educate yourself on the problem. Being educated means knowing the symptoms of an illness and when to take action. This will not only help you to gather the facts you need in order to help your loved one, but it will also help you feel more in control of the situation.
If you are worried about a friend, be as direct as possible.
When intervening with a friend or family member, speak from the heart. Speak using the term “I” rather than “You”. Talk about why “I” think a certain way or how “I” feel. This approach comes across as much less judgemental and more empathetic.
Be willing to provide resources for a friend or loved one who you are reaching out to. Simply giving them a number they can call or a guidance counsellor to make an appointment with can plant a seed for them to take action.
One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness. But if a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.