Listening is helping

Lending an ear is lending a hand

Written by Marie Duffy


We've long talked about the importance of reaching out and talking when we experience poor mental health, and today we're beginning a conversation about how to support a friend when they do; by being a better listener. Our new campaign 'Listening is Helping' aims to empower you with the skills you need to actively listen to – and support – friends and family going through a tough time.

The information published on the site today includes advice about how to react when a friend comes to you for help, to be able to recognise the boundaries of the support you can provide, the importance of self care and what to do in emergency situations. We also speak to 3 readers who have lived experience of mental health difficulties and the 3 friends who offered them support during those difficulties to illustrate how important talking and listening were to them.

Our video with tips to enable you to become a better listener:

Loads of great listening content for you to read:

You can also read some real stories from young people who have experienced mental health difficulties, or watch Ryan and Joe's video in which Ryan talks about his experiencing of reaching out to Joe for help.



‘Lending an ear is lending a hand’ is one of the protective factors for positive mental health identified and promoted by the HSE’s 'Little Things' campaign, of which is proud to be a partner. Listening is such a powerful skill and we've put together some tips for conversation starters to get people talking about mental health and to help you be a good listener for your friends or family members when they need a little support.

Our work is supported by