What you can do to help
Although people can sometimes feel helpless or that they lack the skills to be of any useful help and support to those experiencing mental health problems, there are a number of things you can do that will help.
- Provide positive feedback – let the student know that you are glad they have approached you, affirming that they have done the right thing. Remember, it is not always easy for people to discuss their mental health & wellbeing
- Inform them about the support available within Student Development & Well-being, advising them to make an appointment with the Mental Health & Well-being Adviser as soon as possible.
- Ask the student if they would like you to make a referral on their behalf.
- Contact the Mental Health & Wellbeing Adviser at the earliest opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have.
- Most importantly, be aware of your own limitations and boundaries – your help with be effective to a point but it is often necessary for students to receive specialist help and support. So, know your limits and don’t take too much on when supporting students as specialist help is available form Student Development & Well-being.
- Make any promises that you cannot keep
- Make any dismissive statements such as ‘pull yourself together’ or imply that their concerns are insignificant in any way
- Panic! – Try to remain as calm as possible throughout. Remember that most situations will not be urgent and that there is professional support available for students.
- Try to provide ongoing support yourself without first seeking advice