Before you begin to read further, it would help to take time to read up and understand the basics of common mental health conditions here.
Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
Drop in functioning
An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
Sleep or appetite changes
Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings
So, what do you do to provide help to someone experiencing mental health problems? The five-part action plan is known as A-L-G-E-E:
Assess risk of suicide or self-harm (are they serious about it?).
Give reassurance and information.
Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help. You may locate a therapist here.
Encourage self-help strategies You will find some here.
Do note that this is just a preface, and a prelude to responding to mental health signs or a crisis. If you, or someone you know, requires emergency help concerning mental health, you may contact Tata Institute of Social Sciences helpline – iCall – Monday to Saturday, 08.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. on 022-25521111.
You may also email them at: email@example.com
iCALL is a nationwide telephone and email based counselling service initiated by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and run by trained mental health professionals. iCALL provides emotional support, information and referral services to individuals in psycho-social distress, across the life span and across different gender and sexual identities.