- Useful tips
Advice for teens
Worried about a friend? Here's what to do:
1. Figure out what’s wrong with your friend
Pay close attention to your friend’s behaviour changes. If these changes are negative, if they last without showing any sign of improvement, and they affect every part of his or her life, it is important to check on what is happening.
2. Break through the isolation
Treat your friend with respect. The important thing is to get them to confide in you about the situation, let them know they can trust you. Listen to their feelings withou judging. If your friend has trouble trusting, you can talk to them about the behaviour that concerns you. Tell them that you are available and you want to help. Basically, there is no perfect way of saying this. You have to find your own words. You know your friend, earn their trust.
Once your friend has told you how they feel, it's important that you do not remain the only person they confide in, because: :
- It can be long and difficult to help someone;
- You do not have all the tools to help;
- We can make mistakes;
- We can’t be there all the time;
Beware, it is not a question of you talking to everyone about your friend, but rather encouraging your friend to talk to someone they trust, such as their parents, other friends, someone at school, a teacher (sometimes we create a good rapport with teachers and they can provide support in this situation), a coach, a brother, a sister, a cousin, an aunt, an advocate at a youth centre, etc.
The more people who know about the situation, the more likely it is that your friend will get the help and support they need.
3. Refer your friend
If several people are familiar with the situation, encouraging and supporting your friend, but as time passes the situation does not improve, and may even seem to get worse…
What do you do? Who can you turn to?
Encourage your friend to see a health care professional. Do not hesitate to look for help available in your community and to accompany your friend to their first appointment.
- Advocates at your school or youth centre
- CLSC: consult Info-Santé 811 for the CLSC in your region
- Hotlines and www.teljeunes.com and www.jeunessejecoute.ca
For a suicidal crisis, call 9-1-1 or 1 866 CALL (277-3553).
4. Most importantly, do not play therapist
Respect your limits. Provide support, encouragement and listen, but mostly remain the friend you've always been and do not take all the responsibility on your shoulders.
Sounding the alarm is not always easy to do. We may be afraid of being wrong or angering a friend. Be aware that early detection of depression can prevent relapses and chronicity of the illness. You must maintain trust. If something tells you that it is not going well, it’s best to make sure to not aggravate the suffering. In most cases, sufferers who have received help and support from loved ones are grateful for the assistance.
Advice for adults
Insomnia, get out of my bed!
It’s not always easy to relax in the evening after a long day at work. Sometimes, reducing the number of aural and visual stimuli, as well as brain activity is one of the best ways to enjoy a restful sleep. Here are some tips to avoid suffering from insomnia:
- Avoid eating just before bedtime and, especially, do not consume energy drinks or drinks containing sugar or caffeine
- Dim the lights to allow your body and mind to prepare for rest
- Avoid activities or stressful tasks that will stimulate your mind
- Engage in a quiet activity thirty minutes before bedtime: take a bath, read, listen to music, etc.
Preparing for bed is not for kids! It’s an effective way to get your body to understand that the day is over. In addition, sticking to a regular schedule greatly increases your chances of getting a good night's sleep.
A healthy mind in a healthy body
Did you know that daily exercise has many benefits for your body and your mental health? In fact, several studies have shown that exercise is equally beneficial physically and psychologically. Exercise promotes:
- Increased energy levels
- The reduction and removal of the stress
- Reduced risk of depression or anxiety
- Lower risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer
- Improved the physical appearance
- Feeling good about yourself
And it takes only 20 minutes of physical activity per day. Go for it! Walk, run, cycle or practice your favourite sport and discover all the benefits of exercise!
Advice for seniors
Some tips for good mental health:
- Get out of the house
- Maintain contact with others
- Communicate your needs
- Establish your limits
- Take time for yourself
- Eat well
Engage in sports, physical exercise
The caregiver’s role: help without getting exhausted!
Being a caregiver requires a high degree of commitment, which makes you more likely to suffer from physical or psychological problems. Getting sick is not very helpful. It is very important to take care of youself. Remember these tips:
- Get the sleep you need and eat well
- Take time for yourself without feeling guilty
- Acknowledge your limitations and, most importantly, don’t wear yourself out
- Learn about your loved one's illness, medications and their side effects
- Ask for help from other family members, friends or a community health centre
Do not play doctor or therapist