Do you remember the last time that you checked in with your family and friends and asked them -
"Are you okay?"
Mental illness is very common, with almost 50% of all people experiencing mental health difficulties in their lifetime. However mental health does not just involve a clinical diagnosis. People can experience distress, anxiety and depression when faced with day-to-day challenges such as family pressures, stress at work, death of a loved one, health concerns, substance abuse or suicidal thoughts. It is important then to focus on your wellbeing and also check in with your family and friends.
If your gut instinct is telling you something’s worrying someone in your family, a friend or a colleague, reach out and start a conversation.
You don’t need to be an expert or have all the answers. Simply listening and not judging them can make a difference.
If they say, ‘I’m not ok’, you should:
Take what they say seriously and don't interrupt or rush the conversation.
Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them.
Encourage them to explain what’s troubling them by asking open questions: ‘How are you feeling about that?’ or ‘How long have you felt that way?’
Don't try to 'fix' their problems but ask about the things that they might be able to do to manage the situation.
Encourage them to connect with appropriate professional support.
Check out the tip sheet.