Worried about someone? Relatives and friends can often be the first people to notice the signs that someone’s mental health is deteriorating. These signs are usually changes in personality and behaviour such as becoming unusually anxious or irritable, isolated and withdrawn, not sleeping or eating properly and not taking care with appearance and hygiene. Signs of illness are worrying, but they’re also a signal to take action. Taking the right kind of steps will help reduce the impact of illness and help recovery. So what’s the right kind of action to take? First, ask the person you’re worried about if there’s anything they need to talk about. If there is, listen and don't judge. If there’s isn’t, don’t force things. If they say they’re worried about their mental health, encourage them to see their GP and offer practical help such as making an appointment and going along to appointments with them. If they’re already engaged with a treatment service, encourage them to get in touch with the staff. Sometimes, signs that a person could put themselves or others at risk of harm appear suddenly and dramatically, so having a plan worked out in advance is a very good idea. If you think the person needs urgent help, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. If the person has harmed themselves in any way or taken an overdose, get them to the nearest hospital emergency department. And last but not least: take care of yourself. Worrying about a loved one can be stressful. Make sure that you look after your own wellbeing by learning ways of managing stress.