Looking Out For Someone Else's Mental Health

Following on from last week's post on 'Looking After Your Mental Health', this week's post follows on with recognition of National Mental Health Day which is on 10th October 2020. It can be easy to know when we need some extra TLC however it can sometimes be difficult to recognise when others need it and what we can do to help them begin to feel better. Therefore I have put a list together with some common signs that someone might not be feeling themselves and ways in which we can help each other feel a little bit better.

Signs Someone Isn't Themselves:

Body Language. Can play a large role in how someone is feeling. If they are folding their arms they may be feeling insecure or if they are avoiding eye contact they may be feeling nervous. Do some research in different ways body language expresses how someone is feeling so you can recognise the signs.

Mood Changes. If someone is happy one minute and then sad or showing a vast change in their mood the next this could be signs of different mental health conditions. Look out for sudden changes in behaviour and if there are any triggers that could cause for this change.

Tiredness. Someone suffering from mental health might have a change in their sleep pattern which could be another sign that they are needing a helping hand. They may be going from sleeping 7-9 hours a night to a dramatic decrease in their sleep per night which could be a sign.

Withdrawn. Avoiding seeing friends and family or any social occasion could also be a sign that someone is suffering from mental health especially if this is someone who is naturally very sociable.

Appetite Fluctuation. Someone who eats a 'normal' diet might suddenly start binge eating or decreasing their eating habits drastically which is another sign of mental health.

For more information on recognising some common signs regarding someone else's mental health click here

Ways To Help Someone Suffering From Mental Health:

Human Contact. Give them a hug or even a kiss if a significant other. Show them that you are there for them. Showing a little bit of human contact will also give them some reassurance.

Ask If They're Ok. When you notice that someone isn't themselves, ask them if they are ok. Most of the time the response will be 'yeah I'm fine' but if you're not fully convinced there is no harm in asking again to which the individual might then open up. However it is important to try and not push for a more honest response and allow them to talk when they feel ready. Judge the situation and let them know that you're there for them if they want to talk.

Gestures. Treat/surprise them to their favourite food, take them out for a meal, go to the cinema etc. Making someone feel better doesn't necessarily have to be buying them something but sometimes a small gesture is appreciated and shows the person you're thinking of them.

Listen. A really important thing that you can offer is your listening skills. Sometimes someone just wants someone who they can trust and speak about how they are feeling. They aren't necessarily seeking a response or a solution but just simply vocalising their feelings to get it off their chest.

Reassure Them. By someone talking to you about how they're feeling it is important to provide them with some reassurance that how they're feeling is ok and that you're there to support them.

Offer Your Help. Showing someone how you can help them is beneficial to help someone feel better. Suggest setting up a morning walk every weekend or taking part in a new hobby together. Perhaps suggest a book for them to read or a podcast to listen to. Helping them may also be suggesting some charities or support groups that may be able to help them as well. (some of which are listed below)

Be Patient. Show someone that you care about them by waiting for them to talk to you. Similar to one of the previous points, sometimes by offering that you're there for them when they're ready is a good thing to do as they will open up to you when they're ready.

Don't Act Differently. By acting differently around someone with mental health it might make them feel isolated or alienated therefore act normal around them.

Don't Try and Diagnose. Unless you're of course a professional in the mental health field, don't try and diagnose someone with a mental health condition as this could cause them to perhaps think they have a certain condition when they don't. Instead suggest for them to look on some charity and self health websites for more information.

Build Confidence. Offer compliments and try and build up their confidence as mental health can sometimes take away from this. Tell them that they are an amazing person and have so many great qualities if they are feeling low.

There is some good advice on the NHS website which I have linked here for anyone looking for some further advice on helping someone suffering from mental health.

Similar to my previous post, I have linked below some charities and organisations that specialise in mental health to help anyone who might need it.

Remember, you are important and loved.

Mind

Place2Be

Mental Health Foundation

Digital Detox Day

Mental Health Charities and Organisations - NHS

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