“My best friend still lives in Papua New Guinea, but we are in constant contact thanks to social media. We speak almost every day. He's been really supportive over the years. ”
When a person is concerned about their mental health, they often feel most comfortable talking about it with their friends. Sometimes it can be difficult to discuss these things with our family or partners, so we confide in friends.
When someone is living with a mental illness, friends often provide support and comfort. Having someone around who is ready to listen in an open, accepting, and non-judgemental way can make all the difference.
Healthy friendships are extremely important for any person’s mental health. Friends can make us feel that we belong, and can help keep things in perspective. They also play a key role in helping us cope with life’s challenges. In fact, strong, healthy friendships can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.
If you want to support a friend, but you're not sure where to start, take a look at our page on how to support someone. We also have information on connecting with friends, and a few resources below to help you get started.
A closer look
Social connectedness is a crucial aspect of mental wellbeing
Activities with friends can improve mental wellbeing
Social activity is just one way that Australians deal with stress
Stereotypes can be a barrier for someone reaching out for help
One of the biggest things I've learnt over my life is how important love and acceptance is. Talking to others, and hearing them too, is a very validating experience.
A year or two after being diagnosed with depression, I started to open up more to friends and women in my mothers’ group. I discovered that some of them were also dealing with depression or other mental health issues. Now I don’t have any reluctance to talk about it, because you never know who else is affected and we all need that extra support.
The most beneficial thing that one of my friends did was to learn as much as they could about eating disorders. It busted through all the myths that commonly surround it. They actually got what it was like and understood what I was experiencing. That was really, really helpful. Just to be able to talk to someone who actually understood how I felt.
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.