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How can you support a friend with their mental health? - Life skills

Did you know that two out of three of us have experienced a mental health problem in our lifetime?*

We all suffer from time-to-time, but sometimes people hide their issues, and you may just not know what to do or say! Everyone has different triggers, and symptoms. Mental health covers a wide range of mental health problems such as depression, panic attacks, OCD or anxiety.

So how can you help?

  • Offer to talk to them if you have concerns. Sometimes just airing things in the open can help people to talk through their issues!
  • Let them share what they want to share, don’t presume and don’t ask too probing questions
  • Keep your questions open ended, and start the conversation in a calm, non-pressured environment where you have enough time to listen
  • You can’t promise to keep things confidential – they may need professional help
  • Ask them if there’s any tasks you can help them with – this may help with the pressure that they’re feeling
  • Be realistic about the support you can offer. It’s great that you’re there to help and listen, but sometimes professional help is needed. Other times it could just be as simple as them knowing you’re there for them, and will help out where needed
  • Offer them help if you think they need to see a professional or point them towards mental health charity Mind
  • The College has a student welfare team on both sites, as well as a counselling service available

On 10 October 2019 is World Mental Health Day. Find out more about the day, how you can improve your own mental health or support others here.


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