The men of Sefton are being encouraged to step in if they think their friend is acting differently than usual.
This comes as research released by Time to Change, the campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, shows that most men would be comfortable supporting a friend with a mental health problem – but there are still barriers for some.
‘In Your Corner’ is the latest campaign to be launched by Time to Change and is asking men to be more open and supportive of their friends when it comes to mental health. Encouragingly, results from the national survey of over 3,000 men in the UK found that 86% would feel comfortable supporting a friend who has a mental health problem.
In Your Corner highlights the fact that anyone can support a friend with a mental health problem – you don’t have to be an expert. There are three steps everyone can take if they think a friend is struggling:
- Text, call, reach out to your mate
- Ask how they are, listen without judging
- Be yourself, do everyday things
Faris Khalifa, 29, from Liverpool has depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. He said: “It can take a lot for someone to open up about their mental health, especially because it’s still a taboo topic.
“When a friend reaches out and asks you how you’re really doing – it can be a huge relief. My biggest piece of advice is to look out for those subtle changes in behaviour and be proactive about stepping in before the situation gets more serious.”
“My mate Nick has always been the same and never makes me feel like I’m less for having feelings. Friends like Nick made me realise that relationships aren’t just forged for the good times, but the bad times too. Real friends stick around for both. People who have seen you at your worst and chose to be there for you are people you should never let go of.”
As well as taking steps to be there for a friend, everyone is being encouraged to share the new film. To find out more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit: www.time-to-change.org.uk/inyourcorner
This article is part of the ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign – to spread the word about services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health.