Sometimes, changes can happen suddenly and obviously. Events such as a natural disaster or the loss of a job can bring on a crisis in a short period of time. Often, though, behavior changes come about gradually. If something doesn't seem right with him, think back over the past few weeks or months to consider signs of change.
One of the most common signs of emotional crisis is a clear and abrupt change in behavior. Some examples include:
Don't wait to bring up your concerns. It's always better to intervene early, before his emotional distress becomes an emergency situation. If you have a feeling that something is wrong, you're probably right.
Use these Mental Health First Aid Tips to start a conversation with him:
Use these Mental Health First Aid tips to be an effective non-judgmental listener for him:
Follow up with him to let him know it was okay to open up, that you care, and that you’re still a safe person to talk to about his mental health. You can start the follow up conversation with statements such as:
Don't give up if the first conversation didn't go too well. Try to keep an open mind and think of it as maybe he wasn't ready to talk.
Continue inviting him to be a part of your life in the form of talking, meeting up to do a planned activity or go to an event. If he rejects you it's most likely nothing against you, personally. Steady invitations show that you care and that you will be there for him.
Honor his trust in you as you would want him to honor your trust. It's possible you're the only one he is talking to about his mental health. Avoid gossiping or turning people against him.
Seek help for yourself so you don't feel alone or that you have to help him all by yourself. Don't be afraid to reach out to a trusted resource of your own, so that you can continue to be an available and helpful outlet for him.