We can all have a bad day, a bad week or a few bad weeks. It is a part of life, and when everything is in balance, the bad times can help us appreciate the good ones.

When we manage to overcome some of the challenges that life sets us it can actually give us a good feeling and motivate us to do more.

There’s often no better feeling than having completed something we were dreading to do or were anxious about.

However, when things get on top of us, which can be a gradual process, we may suddenly find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, unable to distinguish the good from the bad.

In some cases, a person can start to feel helpless and perhaps begin to see no hope in the future.

There are a few warning signs we can look for in others which may indicate they are struggling with their mental health.

Some of them may of course also be indicators of other health issues. If you think someone in your family or who is close to you may be struggling with their mental health the first port of call should always be their GP.

Warning signs to watch out for can include:

1. Mood swings from low to high or high to low.

2. If someone has become more withdrawn and is not interacting in the usual way. Perhaps wanting to stay in bed all the time.

3. Signs of being distracted, confused or agitated.

4. Acting out of character from their usual self for no apparent reason such as being more argumentative etc. Or perhaps suddenly not caring about their appearance when normally they would.

5. Dramatic changes in their eating habits – we eat our emotions!

Of course, I realise that the above list could very easily describe half of all teenagers at some point!

However, if you are concerned about someone and are not sure what to do, it is always worth trying to gently open up a conversation to see if you can do anything to help.

Take the time to listen and let them know you care and that you will not judge them. All too often when people are struggling they are reluctant or even embarrassed to talk.

There is still so much stigma attached to talking about mental health issues and sadly, all too often things are left too late.

That’s why I would really encourage you to talk with someone you care about if you are concerned.

If you’d like me to cover any aspect of mental health and well-being please contact me directly wellbeing@martinfurber.com.

Please note: If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, The Samaritans on 116 123, text SHOUT to 85258 or attend A&E.