Maintaining good mental health looks and feels different for each of us, so it’s not always obvious when someone you know is struggling and in need of help.
There are, however, some behaviours, thoughts and patterns that are common signs of mental health distress. They may not be immediately obvious, but they can be easy to spot when you know them.
10 Signs of Mental Health Struggle
- Feeling low in mood and/or sad
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Thoughts of suicide
- Feeling irritable
- Changes in appetite and sleep
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Losing interest in activities and hobbies
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Changes to behaviour, such as increased use/misuse of alcohol, drugs, gambling or other escapes
- Behaviour that is out of character
How you can then help someone isn’t always clear, either. We all have different needs, and the best support often starts with the time to understand what they may be.
5 ways to show support
Listen - Be a safe space for vulnerability. Listen with no judgement; Follow up and check-in.
Self Care - Look out for your own wellbeing and care within your boundaries: Share the support load.
Connect - Be the friend they need. Remind them what brings calm, happiness, purpose and belonging
Care - Take time to understand what they're going through, how they're coping and what they need.
Empathy - Assure them their emotions are valid and help is available. Allow them to feel seen, heard, cared for and valued.
Learn more about noticing the signs and how to help at https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/i-m-worried-about-someone/