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Face-to-face informal support

Face-to-face support can feel reassuring, as it gives you a chance to express your emotions and have someone respond to them in real time.

Sometimes, seeing or hearing someone’s reactions to what you say is a good way to get perspective on what you’re going through and gauge the severity of your situation. For example, if someone empathises and acknowledges that something has been tough for you it can validate what you are feeling and encourage you to be as kind to yourself as possible, seeking additional support with everyday activities if you need it.

Answering someone’s questions or explaining the situation in person can also help you access emotions that otherwise wouldn’t surface if you were writing a text or email. It can feel like a vulnerable position to be in, but supportive friends and relatives can provide a space for you to be yourself, talk about what is going on, good or bad, and help share some of your burden. You don’t have to go outside if that’s too much sometimes, video chatting with someone and just seeing their face can feel comforting too. 

You can find advice and guidance on starting conversations in our Helping Someone Else section and you may find our recent We all have mental health animation useful:


There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.