Five ways you can help someone struggling
When someone close to you is struggling with their mental health, it can be difficult to know what to do. Blogger Tara suggests five ways you can help as a friend or family member.
Don’t force them to talk
Although it’s amazing to make yourself available to listen to someone who is struggling, be aware that they might not want to talk about it all the time. When I was struggling, I found it helped having certain friends who I didn’t have to always talk about my mental health with, but I could just keep being friends as we were before.
Keep inviting them
I started to refuse invites when I became down, for various reasons. However, when some people stopped asking, I twisted it in my head and thought it meant they no longer liked me. So being invited out, (even if my friends knew I’d refuse), helped me to realise people still wanted me in their life.
Send things that remind you of them
One of the things that brightened up my day the most was receiving songs, quotes or photos my friends sent me. Some were motivational, funny, or memories (including my favourite song Fight for It by Lucy Spraggan). They helped because it was a reminder they were thinking of me, and now remain as a positive memory of what I went through.
Ask them what they want to do
It sounds silly, but sometimes someone has something they want to do, whether that’s getting out of the house for a walk, staying in and having a movie day or talking about what they’re feeling. By giving them the option to choose, they might feel more able to talk.
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but personally I found hugs and cuddles a massive warm and comforting support.
Where to get help
If you are looking for more advice on how you can support your friends or family with their mental health, have a look at our Find help guide.