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How to ask

When and how to start the conversation

Learn how to ask if someone is OK

We know it can be hard to ask if someone is OK. You might be worried about what they will say and what happens next.

Are You OK? is a simple question. Some people might just say "I'm fine" or avoid answering.

You might need to continue the conversation to find out if they are really OK, you could say:

Tips for the conversation

Be prepared for any answer.

Be aware that it might take the person some time to tell you how they are feeling.

One of the most supportive things you can say to someone is that you are there for them, no matter what. You may need to accept that they don't want to tell you about it all but knowing that you haven't forgotten about them or given up on them will be important to hear.

Tell them that you can see something isn't OK and that you're worried about them. Let them know you're there to listen whenever they are ready to talk.

You can tell them if they don't feel comfortable talking to you, there are other people who can help. You could give them the contact details of some support services and encourage them to get in touch.

Offer to call support or help services with them the first time - it can be scary to do it alone.

Keep in touch

If they are a friend or relative, try to keep in touch with them - a text or call can make the world of difference. Let them know you are still there and are still thinking about them.

Look after yourself

Remember to look after yourself - if they tell you something really upsetting you can contact support services for yourself too or tell another friend or family member, so you aren't alone.

Some people find it difficult to accept help

Making changes can take a lot of time for some people, and it can be very hard for you to watch. It can also be very hard for someone who is not living with similar difficulties to understand them.

Sometimes people find it difficult to accept help because they:

If you, or someone you know are struggling, find support services to help.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.