How to Help Yourself and Others?

Our Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of steps that can help you achieve a good level of wellbeing. 

It's Always Good To Talk To Someone

If you’re feeling like your wellbeing is suffering then it’s always good to talk to someone that you can trust and who may be able to offer you support. Pick someone you can confide in. If you feel you can’t talk to someone in person then go to a reliable website or online support as many online services offer chat options to help people offload their issues and seek support. There is a list of local and national support agencies and services listed in this section that can help you if your wellbeing is suffering.

Take steps towards positive wellbeing.

The five steps to wellbeing that have been developed by the New Economics Foundation are an evidenced based approach to help people become mindful on improving their wellbeing. They are a good approach for everyone when thinking about overall wellbeing and include:

Step 1 - Connect with people around you and spend time developing these relationships. When life is challenging, friends, family or your community could help you get through difficult times. You can interact with people at home, school or through activities you enjoy and you should try to do this with at least one person, face to face, every day

Step 2 - Be active - exercise is good for raising your self-esteem and activity levels and can help you to interact with other people, which is good for your mental health. It doesn’t always have to be intense and it doesn’t have to be done in a gym, slower paced activities can be just as good for you. This could be going for a walk, running, dancing, doing a sport, but most importantly finding an activity you enjoy and could make a regular part of your life.

Step 3 - Take Notice - be aware of your surroundings and your feelings. Take time out to reflect on the experiences you have and be aware of what is happening around you. Some people call this “mindfulness” and it can positively change how you feel about life and how you tackle challenges. Take regular time out for yourself to understand your feelings and what it is that really matters to you.

Step 4 - Learn - learning can increase your self-confidence as well as being fun. It can help you interact with other people and you may enjoy setting yourself new challenges. This doesn’t just mean studying for qualifications, you could try a new activity you think you would enjoy or re-start an old one.

Step 5 - Give - giving can make us feel happy. Doing something kind for a friend or stranger has been shown to have an effect on your stress levels. Even the smallest act can count, like smiling or saying thank you, or volunteering your time to help someone else. This can be rewarding to you and help you make links with other people.

Be a good friend

We’ve already mentioned the ‘5 steps to wellbeing’ and how people can think about improving their wellbeing. Further ways you can help other people, family members or friends is to look out for them if you know their wellbeing may be suffering. Ways of doing this can involve doing something nice or making time for someone. This may be a simple but effective way in supporting another person just by asking how they are, listening or suggesting doing something positive together. Some other things you can do to support a friend etc is to:
  • Let them know you’re thinking of them by sending a text or email
  • Agree a plan to do things together such as a trip out
  • Congratulate them for being active and mindful on helping themselves
  • Remind them that you are there to listen
  • Encourage them to make next steps to improve their wellbeing such as visiting their GP or getting online support
  • Encourage them to be physically active, eat well and sleep well
  • Help them make contact with services if they are worried or nervous about seeking help

Use wellbeing support apps if you feel you can't speak to someone in person of on the phone

We have a list of handy and useful support website and mobile phone apps that offer young people information, help and advice concerning wellbeing issues.  


Need help?

If you’re a young person and need help, information, advice or support concerning wellbeing related issues then help is available within our Who Else Can Help section.

Who Else Can Help?

There are lots of local and national organisations who can offer support, advice & guidance if you need it.



What is Wellbeing?

Wellbeing is defined as a person’s state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. In general terms this is based on how a person feels at the time and may relate to a number of factors that may help or hinder a person’s current wellbeing status. These factors include:

Physical health, Social situations, Digital / social media world, Mental or emotional health (i.e. stress, depression / anxiety), Relationships, Motivations , Self-esteem and / or confidenceWhen influences affect a person in a particular way it may have an impact on their wellbeing. For example illness will affect a person’s physical wellbeing whereas treatment may improve physical wellbeing. Financial difficulties may affect mental health due to debt worries and gaining employment may improve emotional health due to being able to pay bills or have an active social life. Everyone has a wellbeing status and being mindful of this status is helpful when understanding what influences you either positively or negatively.

Nobody's Perfect!

Often people will say they’re not normal compared to others but in fact what is normal? Young people often feel compelled to live up to the perfect image or match others they see portrayed in the public. Social media profiles and posts of particular lifestyles are sometimes blamed for young people feeling pressured to live up to false expectations. Although many of us use social media and enjoy its uses it’s important to be aware that the images we see may not always be what they’re made out to be. Even the most popular social media users will have times when they, like others, can suffer with poor wellbeing issues although they may not show it.

Having a mental health problem or illness will not ruin your life!

Although mental health issues and illnesses can have a negative impact on our wellbeing it is important to remember that support, treatment and therapy can all help to resolve or reduce the issue and enable people to have a very normal and healthy life. The important thing to recognise is that although these issues can be complicated it does not mean it is impossible to overcome. The crucial thing is not to let issues continue and to seek the right type of support. For more information on help, information, advice and further support see our “ways to help” section.  

It's ok to not be ok!

When people recognise that their wellbeing is suffering, a natural reaction for some is to fear or be reluctant to tell others or ask for help. Some will say that their dignity will be affected if others find out that a person may be struggling to cope believing they alone are suffering and others don’t.

For instance, often people will say that they feel ashamed or stigmatised if others become aware that they may be experiencing poor mental health due to being scared to speak out because people may see them as being weak. However in terms of mental wellbeing, this is something that we all have and it is very common, and normal for that matter, for most people to experience something that will negatively affect their wellbeing at one time or another.  It is suggested that 1 in 10 of us are suffering with poor mental health at any one time.

Support is different for each person

Recognising or accepting that you may be suffering with poor wellbeing is not easy but it’s the first step at looking at ways to improving your situation and in turn improves your wellbeing. What works for one person may not be as relevant for another. Some of the support people may come to rely on may include:

Treatment or medication , Self-help , Friends and family to talk to, Mindfulness, Support group, Online support , Therapy sessions to look at coping strategies or behaviour change, Counselling, Physical exercise or activity, Yoga, Reading, Eating well, Hobbies and interests

There are lots of support groups and services that can help people work out what help is available and what is best for them. A list of local and national support services can be found in our “ways to help” section and also a handy list of useful support apps.

Wellbeing Myths

There are so many myths and rumours about the effect consuming alcohol can have on you, we're here to dispel these myths and get to the truth! Check out some of the most common Myths that we hear from young people - and what the actual TRUTH is...


Everything online is true!

What we look at on the internet, social media and see in the entertainment and fashion industry has long been identified as being a negative influence on young people’s view of perfection and their own views of themselves. Remember not everything we see or hear is real. Images are airbrushed on the internet and magazines to help the media world and entertainment businesses create images that promote products and make money. Try to be mindful of this and if necessary explore your feelings with someone you trust.

Asking for help is a sign of weakness!

Asking for help takes courage no matter what the issue may be and it’s fair to say most of us may be reluctant to ask for help for some reason or another. However recognising you may need help is considered to be a very positive strength and skill as those who understand this are in touch and self-aware and display good mindfulness. Many support services believe that if more of us recognised that our wellbeing was being affected and asked for help the stigma associated with wellbeing issues would be much less.

People with mental health problems are dangerous!

This is completely untrue. Mental health statistics suggest that up to 65% of people in the UK have reported that they have suffered with a mental health problem or illness including depression, panic attacks, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and more. The problem is that society has been falsely led to believe that those suffering with mental health problems are considered to be dangerous or violent. This is due to the stigmatisation, or random hearsay, or the media sometimes blowing news reports out of proportion and sensationalising the facts. The actual truth is that those who suffer with mental health problems are actually more likely to be victims of violence or cause harm to themselves rather than anyone else. Evidence has shown that only 3-5% of violent incidents in the UK are committed by people with a serious mental illness. 

Just ignore it... it will go away!

What if it won’t go away and gets worse? Leaving problems, worries and poor wellbeing issues to get better on their own is not recommended. Recognising problems and acting on them is the best way to prevent your situation from getting worse. Early intervention is the key to early recovery from what may be affecting you and prevention of further problems in the future.

Mental health is not as important as physical health!

It is just as important to take care of your mental / emotional health as it is looking after your physical health. Mental health and physical health are very much related with one affecting the other. Mental health plays a big role in our ability to sustain good physical health. Mental illnesses, such as anxiety and / or depression can have a direct link to poor physical health due to associated problems such as bad eating habits, self-harm and sleep disorders that as a consequence of poor mental health can affect physical wellbeing.