Can you see mental illness?

It’s often said that you can see physical illness, but you can’t see mental illness. This is only half true. While you can’t always see the cause of mental illness, it’s possible to see signs that someone is suffering from it. Look for social withdrawal, poor concentration, prolonged sadness, changes in mood, behaviour, and mannerisms. Ask yourself “How does this person behave when they’re happy compared to how they’re behaving now?” From there, start a conversation. If you’re not sure how, the best advice is to be direct. Mental health conversations don’t need to be subtle. You can simply say “I’ve noticed you’re not your usual self (give examples), what’s happening with you right now?” Don’t worry if you don’t have a solution, it’s more about trying to understand what they’re experiencing, listening without judgement, and making sure they know they’re not alone. When in doubt, try “Let’s find the help you need together”.