World Mental Health Day: Being there for loved ones

Making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority is the goal of World Mental Health Day 2022. The Charlie Watkins Foundation fully supports the World Health Organisation’s aim – and knowing how to support and start conversations with people is a great place to start.

Unfortunately, most of us will experience mental health challenges at some point in our lives. It is completely natural, so it is important we have the confidence to help those close to us.

It may not always be obvious a friend or family member is going through a tough time – distancing themselves from people or doing things out of character might be signs they need support. If you think they are experiencing challenges, the first thing to do is reach out.

Sometimes, being reassured there are people who care can go a long way.

It is vital to remain patient when reaching out, as some people may be reluctant to open up at first. If they are reluctant, let them talk to you in their own time – but remind them you are always there when they need a chat.

While you will want to offer your own solutions to someone’s challenges, it is important to remember that might not always be helpful. Ensuring people have a safe space to talk with someone who will listen is the most important thing. Talking is a powerful tool.

In many cases, people experiencing mental health challenges may avoid leaving their house or socialising. Changing environments and getting out in nature can be beneficial, so try suggesting a walk or getting a coffee to-go. However, do not put pressure on them if they say no – perhaps suggest doing it another day instead. That way, they know they have the option and will feel more in control.

There is no right or wrong way to talk about mental health, what works will be different for many people. The important thing is providing a safe place for people to talk when they feel comfortable to do so.

World Mental Health Day takes place annually and is an opportunity to highlight the importance of looking after our wellbeing. For the Charlie Watkins Foundation, every day is World Mental Health Day. We are committed to raising funds for organisations to help support young people struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.

You can find out more about the work we do on our support page. If you can, please donate so we can continue helping our partner organisations do brilliant things in their community.