Supporting someone with anxiety or depression

There are ways that you can help someone with anxiety or depression. It may be helpful to:

  • let them know if you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour
  • spend time talking about their experiences and let them know you’re there to listen without being judgmental
  • help them to get information from a website, library or community health centre
  • suggest they look at the self-referral pages for talking therapies available
  • encourage them to get enough sleep, to exercise and to eat well
  • encourage family and friends to invite them out and keep in touch, but don’t pressure them to participate in activities
  • contact your local urgent mental health helpline if you become concerned about someone’s behaviour

It is unhelpful to:

  • put pressure on them by telling them to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘get their act together’
  • stay away or avoid them
  • tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
  • pressure them to party more or wipe out how they’re feeling with drugs and alcohol
  • assume the problem will just go away.

Treatment for anxiety & depression

If you feel you need urgent mental health support, please contact one of these 24/7 urgent mental health helplines – they’re available to anyone of any age

  •  Bolton, Manchester, Salford and Trafford 0800 953 0285 (freephone)
  • Bury, Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport and Tameside & Glossop 0800 014 9995 (freephone)
  • Wigan 0800 051 3253 (freephone)

If there’s an immediate risk of danger to life, you should ring 999