Here is an interesting #tuesdaythoughts ! 75% of mental illnesses start before a child reaches their 18th birthday, while 50% of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) take root before the age of 15.
How can we help those around us?
Learn the ALAN method to help a friend struggling with their mental health
Ask open questions, such as ‘how are you doing?’. Give the person time to open up if they need it.
It’s okay to say you’re worried, or that you’re not sure how to start the conversation but you wanted to see if they’re okay. Asking is the very first step in breaking down that wall and making a connection in someone’s time of need.
Once you’ve asked a question, make sure you actually listen to the answer. Be patient and let them say what they need. Try to just listen, rather than attempting to solve any problem. Lots of people just need to vent – and even by chipping in with advice you could unintentionally cut them off or dismiss their feelings.
Create a plan of action to get them feeling better. It’s a good idea to set SMART (another acronym, handy) goals – tasks that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. So rather than a general ‘I want to feel happier’, break that goal down into more manageable chunks; say, calling and booking a doctor’s appointment by this time next week, or planning to meet up again this coming Friday. Let your friend know what support is out there and arrange a time for you to check back in.