I’m worried my friend may be struggling with their mental health, how can I help?

We all have ‘mental health’ - sometimes it’s ‘good mental health’ and sometimes we can be in a place where we are struggling. It’s very normal. There are lots of reasons why someone might seem low or not themselves; it may be a tough time for them adjusting to life at Uni, a disappointing essay mark or a more difficult emotional challenge. The key thing is to have a chat with them.  

The idea of chatting to them may feel uncomfortable or scary, but it will help open the door for them to tell you how they feel. If you have concerns about their overall well-being, the key thing is to try not to ‘judge’ how they feel, but encourage them to get support. If a friend is self harming this can be very difficult, but it may be a way that they use to cope with how they feel. Unless it is putting them at immediate risk, then don’t tell them to stop as this may make them feel they have to hide it.

If you have concerns that your friend is suicidal there is lots of support available. Please see our related articles below.

Helping to be there for others when they are struggling can make a huge difference. But it’s also important you don’t have to feel like you have to deal with it all on your own, sacrificing your own wellbeing.

If you or your friend need someone to talk to there is support available:

  • Contact LUU Advice for an informal chat - it’s confidential and independent from the University
  • Speak to the The University of Leeds Counselling Service, who can support you at times of emotional, psychological or mental health difficulties
  • As a University of Leeds student you have access to the Big White Wall, an online mental health and wellbeing service