If these sound like your friend, chances are something is on their mind. Get advice on how to support them below.

You get radio silence

You haven’t seen or heard from them for a while. They might be airing your messages or start spending hours in their room and not be up for socialising. You might find they stop posting on social media altogether or start posting content that seems concerning or out of character.

Their sleeping pattern has changed

They might make a comment about struggling to sleep properly at night or regularly stay in bed all day.

They seem down

When you see or speak to them you get the feeling that something’s not right. They might be quieter than usual or get impatient or irritated more easily than they usually do. They could seem distant or preoccupied and struggling to hold a proper conversation. Alternatively, they might seem louder and chattier than usual – or even hyper.

They get teary

You’ve noticed they’ve been crying a lot. They get irrationally upset, stressed or anxious in certain situations. They might act like everything is fine or not feel comfortable opening up about what’s on their mind.

Their drinking is getting out of hand

They’re drinking a lot more than they normally do or you notice them reaching for a drink as a way of coping with how they’re feeling. They might start to act differently when they’ve been drinking – they could get angry, upset or black out.  

They keep cancelling plans

They keep cancelling plans you have together and don’t seem interested in rearranging.  They might have even become a total recluse and not want to leave the house at all.

They’re not eating (or eating more than usual)

They have lost their appetite or are purposefully restricting how much they eat. They might feel bad about the way they look or become worried about eating certain foods. Instead of eating too little, maybe you’ve noticed that they’re binge eating when they feel low.

 If you’re worried your friend could be struggling with their mental health, here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Let them know that you’re happy to listen if they ever want to talk about anything.
  • Mention some mental health services that can help or offer to go with them to a session.
  • Encourage them to speak to their GP about how they’re feeling.
  • Check in on them by messaging or meeting up when you can to check if they’re okay.
  • Be patient with them, it might take some time for them to feel like themselves again.

Take a look at our list of mental health services available in Leeds.