START THE CONVERSATION AROUND MENTAL HEALTH
If you’ve noticed that your friend might be struggling emotionally, it might be time to have The Brave talk.
60% of students with anxiety or depression turn to a friend. Brave Together is a global initiative for those experiencing anxiety or depression and for those who want to help. We’ve partnered with over 35 mental health NGOs worldwide to make mental health support free and accessible.
USE THESE 5 BRAVE STEPS TO START THE CONVERSATION:
Look for signs that things aren’t right. This could be risk-taking behaviour or sudden use of substances, but it could also be a change in mood, speech, sleep patterns, or level of engagement.
Find a quiet place where you can talk in private and be prepared to fully listen. Make sure you’re both comfortable and there’s nothing else distracting you.
Explain why you’re concerned and show compassion. It can be helpful to start with open questions, such as “hey, we haven’t talked in a while. What’s going on with you?”, or “I’ve noticed you don’t seem like yourself lately. What’s new in your life?”
Talking about feelings can be tough. It's okay if your friend isn't ready to share. Knowing you want to listen to them is a big support already.
Your friend may not be ready to take any big steps right now. That’s okay. Let them know you are ready to help when they are ready. You can share the number for a crisis line with them or offer to find other support.
Hard conversations might also bring up feelings for you, so check in with yourself before and after. If you need a safe space to process your feelings, don't hesitate to reach out.
WHY IS HAVING THE BRAVE TALK IMPORTANT?
There are many reasons friends don’t reach out when they’re struggling. Maybe they don’t want to burden you, or can’t find the words to articulate their feelings. Starting the conversation can empower them to seek the help they need.
TEXT CONNECT AT 686868 TO BE CONNECTED WITH A CRISIS RESPONDER.