Tips for supporting young people living with mental illness


For #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek, our social media team asked young people living with mental illness to share tips for being there for the young people in your life.

1. Listen attentively

Talking about mental health can be really difficult – don’t cast judgement on them.

2. Ask open questions

Make sure you are patient and allow space for silence after asking your questions.

3. Avoid processes

Formulaic ways of asking things can feel less human. You could take part in activities they like before having a conversation, for example.

  • My best way of managing was finding a support system of people who could understand what I was going through.

    Ginny Ginny

4. Reflect and repeat

Summarise and reflect back what they have said in your eyes, to check you have understood correctly.

5. Consider your environment

Think about where they would feel most comfortable to have the conversation before you have it.

6. Be curious

Show an interest in their hobbies and friends and think about why they might feel different to others.

7. Trust their judgment

Do what you can to create opportunities which enable them to take the lead in their care and treatment.