How you can help
You do not need to be an expert to support someone who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.
You may worry that you don’t know how to help or you will say the wrong thing and make things worse. But the small things we say or do can make a big difference. Even just telling someone that you see their struggle can be a big help.
People may be afraid to let others know they are not coping, so being able to connect can be a relief. Starting a conversation can be difficult but it can help to stay calm and assure others they do not have to deal with things alone.
You can help by following these simple principles:
- Listen actively and communicate clearly
- Ask how you can help
- Have a non-judgemental attitude and do not make assumptions
- Be aware of the whole person
Make every contact count and use every opportunity to have brief conversations with people about making positive changes to their mental health and wellbeing through the Six Ways to Wellbeing.
Be familiar with the mental health and wellbeing conditions and pathways in West Lothian.
Be able to identify risk factors and symptoms of mental health problems and be able to signpost and refer appropriately.
If you want to see what support is available in West Lothian then have a look at our service directory where you can use filters to help find what you are looking for.
Listen & Link is a self-referral phoneline service for children, young people and families in West Lothian who have concerns for the mental wellbeing of a child or young person in their household. Or, the child or young person may be worried about their own mental wellbeing.
West Lothian Well-being is also available to provide support for people aged 18+ experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues. They work with people to understand their needs and connect them with local partners to provide a pathway of support.
There is also a text service “Voice” for free and confidential support 24/7 for people who are feeling low or worried. Text the word voice to 85258. This is anonymous and will not show on phone bills.
In cases of an emergency always call 999. If you wish to seek support for an urgent mental health concern for yourself or someone else call NHS 24 on ‘111’ and follow the instructions for mental health. Here you will speak to a trained mental health practitioner to support you and they will put you in touch wit the right support.