Obviously, people all react to stressful or traumatic situations and express themselves differently. Something that makes no difference to one person can really affect the happiness of another. Sometimes there is no obvious reason that someone may be struggling and that’s perfectly normal. Some of the signs to look out for are:
*If you tick any of these boxes please call an emergency contact
How can I help a friend?
Feedback from our EAMH sessions in schools and football clubs tells us that almost half of the young people we have worked with are most likely to open up to their friends about how they are feeling. We know that sometimes talking to a friend is easier than a family member or another adult as they don’t always seem to understand. But you can make a difference! Never underestimate the power of a conversation; the smallest gesture or talk can have a huge impact on someone’s life!
What should I do if someone comes to me for help?
Remember, you may be the first person they have decided to open up to. This could be a pretty big deal and likely took a great deal of courage for them to say. Asking for help is a show of strength and can be a first step on the road to recovery. Therefore it is important that you remember to:
Talk openly about their mental health concerns or what might be worrying them
Give them your full attention – put down your phone and avoid distractions you don’t want to miss something important
Be supportive and understanding think about how you would want to be supported
Use understanding language, don’t judge them or tell them what they are feeling is wrong or stupid everyone feels things differently
Try to maintain eye contact and re-assure them that you are listening (don’t stare at them thought because that’s just weird)
Contact an adult or a professional if you are concerned. Talk to someone you trust don’t go running out of the room texting all your mates saying 'you’ll never guess what'.
When someone shares something with you its important to respect that and respond appropriately.
It is important to make sure you don't:
Use negative or condescending language.
Act judgementally or cast any blame, you cant always help how you feel and it’s not your fault either.
Dismiss their problems as trivial, what you think is stupid or silly is different to what someone else may think.
Assume that someone else will deal with the issue so it isn’t your problem.
Promise to keep secrets, its important that your friend understands other people may need to be involved in order to get the right help.