How To Help Someone Else

How To Help Someone Else

Helping someone that you think might be struggling with their mental health can often feel daunting, worrying and sometimes even frustrating.

You don’t need to be a mental health professional to help make a difference. Here are our general guidelines on how you can help someone experiencing mental health challenges.

Express Your Concerns

It is okay to express your concerns to the person involved, but do so gently.

Ask if they are feeling okay as they don’t seem themselves lately and tell them that you are there if they want to talk something through with you.

Be Patient

Sometimes the person that you are concerned about might not want to open up straight away, or they might not have the right words to tell you how they feel. Don’t force someone to talk to you. Give them time and space to come to you, and simply reassure them that you are there when they feel ready.


Listen to what they have to say without judgement and try to stay calm. Sometimes it can be hard to hear that a friend, colleague, or loved one is having a hard time, but by staying calm yourself, you will help them to open up.

Be Empathetic Not Sympathetic

Empathy involves the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It goes beyond recognising someone’s emotions; it involves feeling with them and experiencing a sense of connection.

Sympathy involves feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for someone else’s hardships or challenges. It is a more external expression of concern for another person’s well-being

We love this video by Brenee Brown on Empathy vs Sympathy which really helps to explain the difference and how empathy over sympathy can help.

Stay In Touch

When someone has opened up to you make sure to stay in touch. Whether it’s sending a funny meme, inviting them out for a cuppa, or just simply checking in via texts or phone calls regularly

Further Help

If the person that you are concerned about agrees to seek help, you could offer to assist them in looking for support. You can find a list of resources Here . You could also encourage them to speak to their GP or access their Employee Assistance Programme if it is available to them.

It might be helpful to offer practical help too with things like childcare or daily tasks.

Look After Yourself

Taking care of someone can be physically and emotionally demanding and it is important to put yourself first. Talk to someone you trust and be realistic about what you can do. Set boundaries and share the care of the person with someone that they trust if you can.

What To Do If You Are Concerned About Someone In Crisis

Sometimes simply talking might not be the answer and someone in crisis might need help more urgently. They may have harmed themselves or are threatening to put themselves or other people at risk.

Stay Calm

Stay calm. Your composure can help provide stability in a crisis situation.

Do Not Leave the Person Alone:

Stay with the person. Do not leave them alone, especially if there is an immediate risk of harm.

Contact Emergency Services:

If there is an imminent risk of harm, call 999 and provide them with all the necessary information. You must put your own safety first.

If harm is not imminent then you can contact your local crisis team. Search “Crisis Team” for services in your area.

Not Sure How To Have Conversations About Mental Health?

Tough Enough To Care can help!

We have a range of courses available if you feel that you would like to build your skills around Mental Health First Aid.

We can also provide a listening ear simply get in touch by emailing