Do you have a mate who is finding it tough right now? They might seem stressed, irritable, down or just not themselves. Maybe they have lost their job, or they might be isolating by themselves. No one likes to see their friends suffering and it's important that when we notice these changes, we have a chat with them.
The best way to do this is:
1. Make sure you find the right time
It's often easier to talk when you’re both comfortable and away from other people who might overhear. Most people find it easier to talk about this stuff when they’re doing something else at the same time, some good options are asking them to go for a drive or going for a walk.
2. Ask them how they’re doing and just listen to their response
You might say something like “hey I’ve noticed you haven’t really seemed yourself lately, are you okay?”. You don’t need to have answers or give advice just listen and make sure they know that how they’re feeling is okay and that you’re always there to talk.
Important note: It's crucial that if you think they could be suicidal that you ask. It's a myth that you’ll ‘put the idea in their head’. Listen to them and make sure they know they are not alone. If they are thinking about suicide you can call a helpline together like the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
3. If they say they are struggling, chat to them about the support available
We have a list of online and phone resources
that you can refer them to. It's also a really good idea to see a psychologist, this can be done easily by visiting a GP who will direct them where to go from there.
It's a difficult time right now and many people are finding it tough. It's really important that if you notice someone isn’t themselves you start a conversation about it to let them know they aren’t alone. We will be releasing resources to help you throughout COVID-19, so keep checking back here for more support.
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This article talks about mental health and wellbeing
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues there are free services you can access. Headspace is a free service for young people up to 25 years — visit their website here. You can also access Lifeline 24/7 for crisis support and suicide prevention 13 11 14 or Beyondblue 1300 22 4636.
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