If you know someone has been unwell, don’t be afraid to ask how they are.
Phrases like “Cheer up”, “I’m sure it’ll pass” and “Pull yourself together” won’t help. Try to be open minded and non-judgemental. You won’t always understand what’s going on for the other person, but lending an ear is an important part.
Don’t just talk about Mental Health
Keep in mind that having a mental health problem is just one part of the person. Ask them about other parts of their life, talk about things you have in common, talk about TV programmes.
Ask how you can help
People will want support at different times in different way, so ask how you can help. You might not always be the person who can directly help, sometimes it is supporting someone to seek more professional help such as visiting their GP or a local support service.
How are you? Don’t avoid the issue
If someone comes to you to talk, try not to brush them off. Some people are worried they will make a problem worse or won’t know what to do. Remember that someone asking for support can be a hard step for them to take.
Give them time
Some people might prefer a text or an email rather than talking face to face or on the phone. Give them time to respond but remain in contact. Sometimes people may withdraw for a short time, but this is ok, try and pick the conversation up a little later.