Mental health tips

Mental health tips

On this page you will see lots of mental health tips and guidance to help you understand mental health and build your confidence to have a better mental health conversation.

What is mental health?


Mental health is simply the way we think, feel and behave. It is our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. Like physical health sometimes we can have issues and illnesses which require support and treatment.


Mental health warning signs


Scroll through the slide show below to see common warning signs of mental health issues.


How to have a mental health conversation

With the pandemic and recession it has become more important than ever to know how to have a mental health conversation to support friends, family, colleagues and the wider community.


Think about how you will approach the mental health conversation. What will be the right setting and environment to help the person feel comfortable? What will you say and how you say it to benefit the individual?

Ask twice

Ask how are you twice to beat the auto response of I am fine. If someone says I am fine how are you? Simply ask again "How are you really feeling?"

Non-judgemental listening

Stop talking and fully listen. Let the person speak fully without interruption giving them plenty of time. Allow time for reflection and get used to silences. With your body position keep it open, relaxed and welcoming.

Ask open ended questions

Ask open ended questions to get the most out of the conversation and help them to make their own decisions. Ask questions that are relevant and based on what they are saying.

Reassure and encourage support

Ask open ended questions to get the most out of the conversation and help them to make their own decisions. Ask questions that are relevant and based on what they are saying.

Set boundaries

Set boundaries of what you are prepared to provide and where you need to refer to a professional. This will help avoid dependency issues and help manage your mental wellbeing.

What to avoid in a mental health conversation

1.Saying “I know how you feel” because you don’t know exactly how they are feeling as everyone is different. Instead you can say “I understand, do you want to talk about it?” or similar.

2.Changing the focus onto yourself and your experiences. Its not about you so keep the focus on them and how you can potentially help them.

3.Not shutting up. The person needs to feel like they are understood and listened to. This means listening without judgement giving plenty of space for them to talk without interruption and responding to what they are saying.

4.Using captain hindsight e.g. “you should have done that instead of what you did”. Putting them down for actions that have happened in the past isn’t productive. Instead, discuss what they can do in the present that will be beneficial.

Where you can signpost

Mental resilience and how to build it

Mental resilience is your ability to withstand mental pressure. High resilience will mean you can cope with higher stress situations. Building resilience is key for great mental wellbeing.

Stay connected and ask for help

Build a positive support network that is filled with lots of meaningful connections - friends, family, colleagues. Build it with connections who have a positive influence in your life that can support you when you are struggling.

Be as active as possible

Exercise whether its walking, cycling, going to the gym, playing sports. Whatever you enjoy doing, do lots of it to build a stronger body and mind.

Eat healthily

Focus on putting the right foods in your body. Drinking lots of water, eating fruit and veg, limiting alcohol and sugar intake and aiming to hit a rule of 80/20. 80% healthy managed diet and 20% flexibility.

Get good quality sleep

Build a sleeping routine that allows you to get 8 hours of quality sleep by calming your mind before bed, not eating too close to bed and limiting phone use before sleeping. This will help you have greater energy, focus and concentration.

Invest in self care

Allow yourself to switch off, relax and focus on yourself to reset the body and mind. It could be reading a book, going a walk, watching a movie, coffee with a friend or anything else that calms and centres you.

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