A Bunch Of Subtle Signs That Your Mates Might Be Struggling With Their Mental Health

Contributor: PEDESTRIAN.TV
PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with The Push-Up Challenge to help people get fit, have fun and push for better mental health.

It can be hard to know what someone is really feeling. Even if they’re your best mate, sometimes people feel they’d rather keep their emotions to themselves rather than “burden” others with them. 

Hell, I do it myself. Everyone has stuff going on and everyone is busy. But when should you really start to worry about your pals who are going through it? 

Considering that an estimated 8.6 million Australians aged 16-85 have experienced a mental disorder at some point, mental health issues may be more common than you’d think. 

Mental health initiative, The Push-Up Challenge is bringing awareness to these statistics this winter.

Between the 1st to the 23rd of June, the charity is asking people to do 3,144 push-ups. Why the seemingly random number?

Sadly, this number represents the amount of people who lost their lives to suicide in 2021.

The Push-Up Challenge is the largest mental health and fitness event in Australia, helping people get fit, have fun, connect with one another and push for better mental health.

The initiative supports Push For Better Foundation, Lifeline and Movember so you can raise some much needed dollars for mental health charities too. 

If you’re not up for 3,144 push-ups, you can take on half of the target (1572) or even swap out some push-ups for squats or sit-ups. It’s free to join in and helps to raise awareness around Australia’s struggles with mental health.

So, if someone in your life has seemed a bit off lately, then read on for some expert-approved subtle signs that can mean something deeper is occurring.

In an interview for VICE NZ, Relationship Specialist Eleanor Butterworth noted that one of the first signs of a person beginning to struggle is withdrawing from social activities. This could look like isolating from family or friends and not engaging in activities and hobbies that they used to enjoy. While we all love a Friday night phone-off-Netflix-binge moment, if your pal is cancelling plans or consistently choosing reruns of The Office over their mates, then that could signal a red flag. 

They might be sleeping poorly and be low in energy or motivation. While many of us complain about being tired or stressed, if this goes on for long periods of time or seems more severe, it may be time to have a heart-to-heart with your mate. 

Another sign is a change in emotions. Is your friend reacting more intensely to situations? Maybe they’re more prone to worrying about the past or future. If things seem off, it’s time to step in and lend an ear. 

While you can’t be their therapist, just knowing your mate has someone to share or vent to can be a stepping stone to getting the professional help they need. 

Next, check out how your friend is reacting in higher-stress situations. 

Are they avoiding certain places like the office, public transport and big crowds?

Anxiety is a big issue amongst young Australians, especially after we lived through (are still living through) a pandemic. Considering this, if your friend is on high alert or looking overstimulated when you’re out and about, consider helping them get home safely or heading somewhere more quiet for a chat. Sometimes people may just have an off-day but it could be a symptom of something bigger going on in their lives.

While these signs are expert-approved, it’s important for yourself or your mates to get help from a professional who can learn more about the situation and individual. 

Here is a list of mental health resources available in Australia and if you want to help raise awareness for a loved one living with a mental health issue, then register for The Push-Up Challenge.

We’ve all gotta keep an eye out for each other.