Mental Health Awareness 2016 – Be there for your friend

Why is Mental Health awareness important?

Mental health problems are common, affecting 25% of people in the UK. That’s 1 in 4 people most likely suffering from mental health problems. It is very likely that one day, one of your friends, colleagues, family members or even you will experience a mental health problem. Yet mental illness is still faced with prejudice, fear and ignorance.

What does this mean?

People with mental health problems find it harder to work, make friends and live normal lives because of the attitude received towards those with mental health problems.

What affects does this have?

  • Isolation
  • Exclusion from everyday activities
  • Harder to find work or keep jobs
  • Reluctant to seek help, making recovery slower and more difficult
  • Physical health affected

The most difficult burden to deal with is facing discrimination in work and social settings, which can be worse than the illness itself.

Time to Change – Lets Open Up To Mental Health

1 in 10 young people may experience a mental health problem. So if your friend’s acting differently, listen, don’t judge. Mental health problems have significant effects on how you behave, think and feel. If you are experiencing mental health problems you may feel ashamed, worthless, sad, worried, confused, angry, frightened, hopeless and even isolated. Having a friend supporting you can make a real difference. It could be the difference between missing out on important things to receiving support for getting better. No expertise required.

Only three simple steps.

  1. Reach out – a conversation, text or call goes a long way
  2. Listen, don’t judge
  3. Do something together

Mental health problems are experienced by anyone from any age, race, religion, or income. Some of the most commonly diagnosed problems are depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias and eating disorders.

Need Support?

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go for help.


Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call) Email: Website: Provides confidential, non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Mind Infoline

Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) Email: Website: Mind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind has around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.

Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line

Telephone: 0300 5000 927   (10am-2pm Monday to Friday) Email: Website: Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England and Northern Ireland.


Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (6pm-11pm) Website: Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them.


Telephone: 0800 1111  Website: ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything – no problem is too big or too small.


Website: Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself.

Elefriends is run by Mind.

If you’re a carer needing support you can contact all of the above as well as Carers Direct and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, both of whom are able to provide support and advice on any issues affecting you.

What should I do if I’m supporting someone in a crisis?

If the person seems really unwell, and you are worried about their safety, you should encourage them to seek help. How to support someone in crisis

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