What can you do to support?
This video gives general and practical guidance about mental health, and doesn’t include targeted or personalised health or medical advice.
What can you do to support?
Supporting someone with their mental health can be as simple as learning some easy dos and don’ts.
Firstly, listen. Just listen.
Be patient and try not to react negatively.
But don’t try to jolly them up...
... or make it light hearted.
Ask open questions.
“What’s been happening?”, “ How are you feeling?” and “How is this affecting you?”
But don’t try to empathise by saying things like:
“I know how you feel” or “My brother had the same thing”.
This might not feel like you’re supporting them and can just push them further away.
It’s okay to ask them if they feel safe.
If they don’t feel safe, or you think the situation is becoming a crisis, you’ll need to take action.
If they’re in immediate danger and won’t agree to getting help, you’ll need to call in some emergency support or help them book an appointment with their GP.
If they don’t want you to contact anyone, tell them you can’t keep the information to yourself...
...and call 111, or the Samaritans on 116 123 if you’re in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
And don’t agree to keep any secrets for them. But if they do feel safe and need support, just be there, they may need a shoulder to cry on.
And if they do cry, don’t tell them to stop. Crying is okay.
You can talk about making a plan for if things get worse.
Like: Who to speak to...
...and how to get help.
Just don’t rush them to take action.
If they’re in a vulnerable situation, they’re probably...
... not ready to make informed decisions.
Try to show an interest in their feelings and belief.
Some of their thoughts might seem irrational to you.
But don’t confirm or deny them. Just listen.
Don’t pressure them into trying to think clearly at a difficult time.
Once they’ve said all they want to say, you can look for ways forward together.
You can establish if they want to tell their friends or workplace...
...and what they might like to say.
And try to move things forward by thinking about... whether there are any support services...
... in the workplace or local area you can point them to.
Just don’t end up trying... to solve their problems yourself.
And finally… Make sure you talk to somebody you feel comfortable with... if the conversation has affected your own well-being.
And don’t be afraid to talk about mental health... with more people in and out of work.
This is the end of our Mental Health Awareness modules. You can recap the guidance in this module within the supporting document.
You can explore mental health further by watching our videos about Resilience and ‘always on’ culture.
If you have questions about a mental health condition, talk to a doctor or qualified mental health care professional.