Know someone showing signs of mental health issues?

Are you worried about someone you know who is showing signs of mental health issues?
Do you want to know how to help and support them?
This page gives advice and signposts to organisations who can provide further assistance.

How can I support them?

  • It’s important to actively listen to them and validate how they are feeling and their concerns.
  • You can explore options for support together. This encourages them to feel empowered, supported and able to make decisions about their own recovery.
  • Try to resist the urge to fix and give advice. Instead, you can approach organisations that run support services and provide specialist advice.

What can I do if they do not want my support?

Many people worry checking in with someone may make things worse or be intrusive. However, it will become apparent very quickly if someone feels too uncomfortable to speak to you about how they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing. They’ll know you’re ready to listen and help when they’re prepared to speak to you.

  • Continue checking in with the person. Even though they may be unable to articulate how they are feeling, they’ll appreciate knowing you are looking out for them.
  • It’s important to look after yourself too. If you need to take some space for your own mental wellbeing and not check in with the person, explain to them that you will be uncontactable for a while and need some space of your own.
  • Try to be understanding of why they may not want support. There are numerous reasons including shame, embarrassment, difficulty expressing feelings, limited awareness of needing support and feelings of inadequacy. It’s important to be aware of this when trying to support someone with their mental wellbeing.

What can I do if it is an emergency?

  • If you believe they are at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for an ambulance or the police.
  • You can also call NHS 111 or NHS Crisis line by phoning 0800 731 2864 (Option 1) to speak to a local 24-hour mental health crisis line run by SLAM NHS Trust.

Useful contacts

SANE provides emotional support, guidance, and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including families, friends, and carers. You can contact SANE on 07984 967 708 or

The Samaritans have numerous methods of contact someone in need can use to get support from them. This includes people whose loved one is suffering from mental health issues.

If you need someone to talk to, a Samaritan can be contacted via phone (116 123), email ( or you can write down how you are feeling in a letter and post it to Freepost SAMARITAN LETTERS.