Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.
It's essential we keep an eye on our family and friends because it can be easy not to notice when someone has a mental health problem. But we've got some simple signs to look out for.
It might be a change in sleeping habits. Is your friend sleeping all the time or not at all?
Have you noticed a change in eating habits? They might not be eating enough. Or maybe they've started eating too much.
It could even be a change in behaviour. Has your mate stopped hanging out with you like they used to? Do they have sudden outbursts of anger? Sometimes it might just be a change of tone in their message or a post.
Any change in normal habits and behaviour over a prolonged period of time can be a sign that something isn't right and the best thing you can do to help is to talk to them.
Chris: So you may spot that a friend's having difficulties or they may come to you with a problem, but either way, what should you do next?
Xand: And this is a thing that actually happens to me and Chris all the time. We do bring our problems to each other and confide in each other and it's very hard to know what to say.
We've come to meet Caroline. She's been a school counsellor for over 25 years, supporting hundreds of students.
Chris: Caroline's gonna listen in as I try to help Xand with some issues in his life.
Tell me about it.
Xand: I'm just not getting enough sleep. I'm always tired and irritable.
Chris: So why don't you go to bed a bit earlier?
Xand: There are too many things to worry about.
Chris: It is difficult, but there are a lot of people who are struggling more than you.
Xand: I know that there are people having a worse time than me, but that doesn't make me feel any better. I like this girl and she just stopped answering my texts.
Chris: Why don't you show me the texts?
Xand: I don't want to show you the texts.
Chris: Well, I can't help you with the texts if you don't show me the texts.
Xand: It seems to me you're just getting annoyed at me. You were the one that wanted to hear my problems. I don't find what you're doing now very helpful. I can't quite see how anything's gonna, gonna get better.
Chris: So what I'm feeling now is I don't know what to do. Caroline, what should I be doing?
Caroline: Why do you want to fix him? You're very much wanting to have answers, and some problems don't have answers.
Chris: So I should just listen to Xand, not jump to give advice.
Xand: I didn't feel like you were listening. It did feel judgy.
Chris: I judged you and felt that you should do some things or that you shouldn't do other things.
Caroline: You can't know how he's feeling.
Chris: I got this wrong. Don't judge, just reassure your friend you're there for them.
Caroline: I think it also really helps to talk to somebody who's not involved.
Xand: The temptation is to go, 'If I'm a really good friend, I can also be your counsellor', and those two things are not necessarily true together.
Chris: So don't be afraid to get help from an adult you trust, because someone like a counsellor may be the best person to deal with the situation.
What do you do to help your friends?
Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.