The signs and symptoms that someone could be in distress  

Knowing the signs and symptoms that someone could be in distress could save the life of someone around you. 

Knowing what to look out for if someone around you is struggling is the first step to offering support. 

When someone is suffering with a mental health crisis, they might not feel comfortable speaking out.

But it can be helpful to begin a conversation about mental health and how they are feeling. 

Changes in a friend or family member’s behaviour can be a sign that they are feeling depressed or anxious. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns, can all be overwhelming for people. 

It can help if you ask them how they are and offer to help find support if they need it. 

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, there are signs you can look out for.

  • Not sleeping
  • Eating less or more than usual
  • Forgetting grooming (no clean clothes, not showering or brushing teeth)
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Missing social or sport events
  • Going quiet on social media or messaging apps
  • Being more irritable than usual
  • Talking of death or dying or increased hopelessness

Movember, an organisation campaigning for men’s health and mental health awareness encourages people to use the ALEC method to check on their friends and family members.

ALEC stands for Ask, Listen, Encourage, Check in.

If you, or someone around you has been affected by themes raised in this article then please reach out to organisations that offer support. Samaritans: call 116 123

National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK: call 0800 689 5652

Shout: Text SHOUT to 85258

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