Everyone is affected by mental health – just like physical health. Just like with physical health, everyone will go through times of good mental health and times of bad mental health. This can be triggered by a specific event in a person’s life. However, it can also happen for no obvious reason. There are several common signs of poor mental health which can suggest that a person needs some help.
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH?
- Seeming very low
- Becoming easily annoyed
- Becoming easily upset
- Experiencing quick changes between very high and very low moods
Changes in behaviour
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Eating more or less than usual
- Caring less about personal appearance and hygiene
Some of these things can show in a person’s physical appearance
- Looking very tired all of the time
- Losing or gaining weight quickly
- Taking less pride in personal appearance
WHY SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR THESE SIGNS?
It is important to look out for signs of poor mental health in others for two main reasons.
1. It is common to feel embarrassed about feeling mentally unwell. This means that people often don’t ask for help themselves.
2. Often people don’t notice changes in themselves. This means that they might not realise their own mental health is getting worse.
Looking out for these signs in others therefore makes it more likely that they will get the help that they need.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SPOT THESE SIGNS?
If you notice some of these signs, it is important to approach the situation with care. You should consider that the person may be unwell. You should not be judgemental or critical of the person, but instead show that you want to help them. Having an open and honest discussion about how they have been feeling could make a big difference. However, it may be that the person should seek some help from a professional. You should let them know that you will try to help them do this, and ask a doctor for advice on what to do next.
Lastly, is also very important to look after yourself. It can be stressful and difficult to watch someone you love be unwell. It can also be difficult to talk to them about it. You should make sure that you have people to support you, too.
Looking out for signs of poor mental health in others can make a real difference. Being aware of mental health problems can help loved ones get the help they need. Openness about these problems can give family members and friends the confidence to confide in you. Reaching out a helping hand to someone in need can make a positive impact on individuals, families, and whole communities.