How to talk about your mental health with someone 

Many people say that asking for help, for example speaking to your GP, was the first step towards getting better. This can be daunting but reaching out for help can be a relief.

Talk to someone and ask for help if:

  • You are finding it difficult to enjoy your life

  • You are feeling anxious or worried

  • You are having thoughts and feelings that are difficult to deal with and are having an impact on your daily life.

  • You want to find out about support and treatment options.


How to talk to someone and ask for help:

Find a way of talking to someone that makes you feel comfortable. This could be a conversation in person or maybe over the phone, or you might find it easier to write down your thoughts in a letter or email.

Prepare what you want to say – try and work out what you want to say and how best to say it. It might help if you write down some notes or go over them in your head before you have a conversation.

Decide who to speak to – There are people who will be willing to listen to you. You might want to speak to someone you trust like a family member, a close friend or a doctor. You could also speak to someone confidentially by ringing Samaritans (contacts listed above)

Find a good time and environment – Find somewhere that is quiet and comfortable and where you are unlikely to be interrupted.

Honesty – it is difficult to be open but try to share how you are really feeling. It helps others to understand.

What can they do to help? If you want someone to help, ask them. This could be emotional support, something practical or just listening when you need someone to talk to.

Some signs to look out for

There are many different types of mental health problems and they vary from person to person. However, there are some common signs to look out for. If someone you know is showing any of the following signs, it could be that they are struggling with their mental health:

If you think someone might need help there are common signs to look out for, they might:

  • Anxious

  • Mood swings

  • Problems with concentration

  • Irritable

  • Avoiding other people

  • Just not be being ‘themselves’


How to talk to someone with a mental health problem

Everyone goes through hard times in their life and we often rely on other people to help us. And sometimes we worry about other people’s mental health. This could be a family member, a friend or a work colleague. If you think someone you know is having a difficult time, have a chat with them today.

Start a conversation:

  • Be yourself

  • Be patient

  • Listen

  • Show them that you are there for them

  • Encourage them to seek help from relevant services

  • Don’t judge

  • Stay calm

  • Offer reassurance – let them know that you’re glad to have them in your life.


It is important that if you become a support for your friend or family member, you remember to look after your own wellbeing too.


Support in an emergency

If you or a loved one are feeling suicidal, feel like hurting yourself or hurting someone else please call 999.

Alternatively go to your nearest accident and emergency department (A&E).


Telephone 116123
(open 24 hours)

Telephone 111
(open 24 hours)


NHS Direct Wales:
Telephone 0845 46 47
(open 24 hours)

Samaritans Wales:
Telephone 116 123
(0808 164 0123)
Open 24 hours


NHS 24:
Telephone 111
(open 24 hours)

Breathing space:
Telephone 0800 83 85 87

Northern Ireland

Telephone 116 123
(open 24 hours)

(open 24 hours)