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Tips for supporting a friend or sibling

If you're worried about a friend or your brother or sister, you may have noticed some changes in them.

They might be:

  • Being more anxious, irritable or angry than usual
  • Unable to concentrate or take decisions
  • Isolating themselves – not seeing their friends, dropping out of school or activities that they previously enjoyed
  • Appearing suspicious of friends and family
  • Being overly focused on certain things or being a perfectionist
  • Not eating or looking after themselves
  • Having disrupted sleep – which can mean not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much.

If you are concerned that someone is developing a mental health problem, there are things you can do to help them, including:

  • Encouraging them to talk about how they are feeling
  • Listening to them in a non-judgmental, non-critical way
  • Taking things at their pace
  • Reassuring them that you are taking what they say seriously
  • Offering to go with them to get further advice or information.

There's lots more advice on supporting a friend or sibling here on Rethink's website.

See also Worried about a friend's post? Here's what to do