Personal and Interpersonal DevelopmentWell what is PIPD? Well for us it is a class that gets us to understand all about our personal behaviour. Are we passive? Are we aggressive? Are we assertive? Well by the end of the first couple of weeks we really find out who we are. In this class we are also asked to look at topics that might be of interest to us and we decided as a group to look at supporting our friends/peers in Youthreach. We started looking at the Spunout website and we decided to look at 4 different areas.

Anxiety – How to cope.

Depression – how-to-support-a-friend-who-is-feeling-depressed

Social Anxiety- emily-mental-health.

Anxiety – dealing-with-anxiety

You will find different thoughts by students in Group C on how to help with any of the above.

How to support a friend who is feeling depressed

By Aaron Murphy


Do you have a friend who may be depressed?  Or feel anxious and down a lot of the time, here are some things to do that might help your friend in need.

Encourage them to maybe go to the doctor or to see a counsellor, If they are already getting help, encourage them to keep appointments.

Let your friend know you are there for them anytime they want to vent. Reassure them that they can say the same things over and over and you will still listen. Concentrate on listening as best as you can, rather than offering opinions or advice, as often people who are feeling depressed can find advice overwhelming.

Remind them that depression is a health issue and not some personal flaw and is never there fault.

Do things together to keep busy, even simple things like a trip to the cinema or a walk can bring their spirits up. Remind them how great it is to have a lovely friend like you.

If they are drinking a lot of alcohol or taking a lot of drugs, try to encourage them to stop, as excessive use can make depression go from dark to darker.

Try to get help from others who can also support your friend through their depression, so that the pressure is not all just on you.


How to support someone with Social Anxiety

By Emily O’Reily

Do you have a friend who doesn’t want to join you whenever you ask them to go out?


Well if you know someone who on a Saturday does not want to join you and your friends could it be that they are tired, want to just relax by themselves after or long week or it is something that they say to you every weekend. They could be suffering with what we now call social anxiety disorder. It can be hard to know how to be a good friend to someone who has social anxiety. On one hand you want to be sensitive to the problems that the disorder brings, on the other hand you want to help bring out the best in your friend.

Here are helpful tips if you find yourself in this situation.

Don’t Be Hard On Them

People with social anxiety are often very hard on themselves and expect others to be hard on them as well. Don’t add to the problem by being hard on yourself. Don’t tell the person that they are too quiet or that they just need to loosen up. Be understanding of the limits that social anxiety can put on a person’s life and don’t expect more than a person can give. At the same time, be hopeful that your friend will gradually push limits as you give a supportive environment for this to take place.

Be Friendly

Just because someone with social anxiety seems distant, that does not mean they do not want to have friends. Often people with the disorder crave friendships but are too anxious to start and keep them. If you are a naturally friendly and outgoing person, you could make a great companion for someone with the disorder. Offer your friendship and get to know the person with social anxiety. You could find yourself with a lifelong friendship and a new outlook on life.

Help Others Get Help

If you suspect someone you know has social anxiety disorder but has not been diagnosed or received treatment, help that person get help. That might involve making a doctor’s appointment, tracking down a support group or finding a self-help program. Do as much of the work as you can, to make it as easy as possible for the person to take that first step. If doors start to close, that person may give up before finding help.

Read About Social Anxiety Disorder

The best way to help someone with social anxiety is to really understand the disorder yourself. Learn about the causes, symptoms, treatments and what it’s like to live with social anxiety. Read books, watch movies or learn about famous people with the disorder. Get yourself the knowledge so that you can be more understanding and approach situations from a non-judgmental view.

Help Them Realise They Have A Problem

Often people with social anxiety will deny that something is wrong. This may be because anxiety is embarrassing for them, and the last thing they want is for it to be noticed. During though times, the person with social anxiety might be more open to talk because their anxiety becomes too much to handle. This is also good time to suggest getting the support they need. When a person has hit bottom, going up seems like the only reasonable next step. Mental health issues are often hard for others to understand unless they have experienced it themselves. Keep in mind that your friend is not choosing to be this way, but, choices can be made to make the situation better.


Dealing With Anxiety

By Ashley Vallot


What exactly is anxiety?

Anxiety is caused by an overwhelming amount of stress from a family situation, exams, tough deadlines and any other stressful situation. It is the feeling of nerves in your stomach and not being able to relax. We all feel stressed and worried form time to time but when you feel this way all the time it can become unhealthy and that is when we call it anxiety.

How to recognise when someone has anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways so it can be hard to know if you or a loved one has anxiety. Unless you know the signs it can be hard to recognise that you have it in the first place. Here are a few different ways in which people experience anxiety in case you or someone you know might be suffering with it.

  • Feeling overwhelmed about the littlest of things.
  • Constantly feeling worried.
  • Overthinking on a regular basis on even the littlest of things.
  • Eating habits changing (eating to much or not enough).
  • Physical signs include feeling sweaty, having butterflies, heavy breathing and high blood pressure.

How to help with anxiety

  • Talk about it. No matter how small you feel your problem is it is always a good idea to get what you are feeling off your chest instead of letting it build up. It may be a good idea to go to counselling to help you deal with any problems that are going on in your life.
  • Keep yourself busy. Exercising is a good way to do this. Regular exercise is good when it comes to dealing with stress. You can become in a better mood while doing it and it is a good distraction from your problems. Going on walks to clear your head or making time to do the things you enjoy are also great ways to keep yourself busy and help with anxiety.
  • Making sure to not turn to drugs or alcohol will help you out big time. Doing these things can make your stress become a lot worse not better. You may feel better at the time of taking it but you will have a dependency on drugs or alcohol if you continue to use it for your problems. Try to cut back on the amount you drink or smoke tobacco.

Support services that could help you or a person you know

Jigsaw– A counselling and mental health service for young people.

Samaritans– a free, confidential listening service.

Teenline– A free call or text listening service for teens that is confidential.