How to support someone with mental health difficulties

May 13, 2019

Has anyone you ever known needed support for their mental health? Or maybe you suspect someone does but you aren’t quite sure?

It wouldn’t be uncommon… the mental health charity Mind report that 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year.

1 in 4.

Do 4 people live in your house? Maybe you share an office of 4 people? Or have 4 best friends?

No doubt we will all come across people in our day-to-day lives affected by poor mental health (and we may not even realise it). 

Sitting on a hill watching the sunrise.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. In support of the week I have listed different ways in which you can support someone who may have difficulty with their mental health.

These can include;

Being aware of the signs and symptoms

Everyone’s mental health is different, meaning the signs and symptoms people they present with may be different too. This can make it challenging in determining whether or not someone has a mental health need.

Common characteristics can involve a change in their personality, thought process or social interactions – yes this could be for loads of different reasons other than their mental health, but it’s something to look out for.

The NHS has a list of different mental health illnesses which include the signs and symptoms of each of these, as well as treatment options if you require some further information.

Ask the question 

Do you need help?

Whether this person has a diagnosis or not, asking for help can be difficult.

Asking someone if they need help can help them access support without the difficulty of having to ask for this themselves. It can also help them feel less isolated or alone, a common symptom of people affected by poor mental health. 

Know specialist support services 

These can vary dependent on the mental health illness. The first point of call would be to go and see the GP. There is also guidance of mental health support services on the NHS Website.

Support can be offered from community mental health teams, children and adolescent mental health services and adult mental health services. Charities can also offer support, some examples include Samaritans, Rethink, Young Minds and as previously mentioned, Mind

Aims on Health also has the #SupportSeries, a series of posts directing you to support services for certain health needs. Some posts include; support for those with unhealthy eating practices, and support for male’s feeling suicidal.

View of sunrise in Bali, Indonesia.

Offer emotional health support 

Sometimes the smallest of gestures can make a big difference.

Listening to a loved-one can be really helpful. Poor mental health can sometimes leave someone feeling lonely or in fear, and offering reassurance to them can help relieve this feeling.

Supporting them in attending appointments, or support groups can itself help an individual when they may be feeling intense emotions themselves. 

Encourage self-care 

Something everyone should practice!

When someone is unwell (both physically and mentally) it can be hard to be motivated to get out of bed and do the smallest things to look after themselves.

Encouraging self-care is important, and has been proven to improve mental health symptoms. You can read my other post ‘selfish or selfless?‘ to understand why!

Self-care doesn’t have to be a solo act either; this can be practiced in groups. Activities can include, going for a walk, getting some exercise, having a beauty routine, eating your favourite meal, meditating, reading a book, the possibilities are endless really – For more ideas you can read one of my other posts dedicated to self care, there are plenty of suggestions here at Aims On Health!


Acts like this can go a long way to help someone in need.

I hope this week you see lots of people talking about mental health, get involved in the conversation, reduce the stigma and spread the love… You could be in a room with someone who needs it.

4 comments so far.

4 responses to “How to support someone with mental health difficulties”

  1. Susan says:

    Thanks for this. It’s so common I’m always surprised that it’s still taboo for some people to talk about about. We need to normalise it because EVERYONE will have issues at some point in their lives

  2. danielle says:

    Some really great advice! Thanks so much! xx

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Meet Aims

Profile picture of Aimee creator of Aims On Health

Hi there!
I'm Aimee creator of 'Aims On Health'.

Here you'll find things all health and wellness but my main interests lie in public health.

My work experience involves working with vulnerable groups in society, providing health eduction and promoting positive behaviour change. I have also just completed a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Liverpool.

Feel free to contact me for advice and support by clicking on the contact page!