Signs and symptoms do vary depending on the type of mental health problem and the individual dealing with it.
Common experiences and symptoms to be aware of are:
Sleep changes: Dramatic changes in sleep schedule such as lack of sleep or oversleeping. Sudden significant tiredness or low energy.
Appetite changes: Strong appetite changes such as eating too much or too little.
Decline in personal care: Change in the degree of personal care such as lack of showering and shaving or bothering to look representative.
Difficulties with everyday tasks: Inability to cope with day-to-day activities.
Mood swings: Rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions, rapid mood swings, sudden bursts of anger, hostility and violence.
Social withdrawal: Recent social withdrawal from friends or family such as not attending social gatherings or parties.
Loss of interest: No interest in hobbies or activities normally enjoyed.
Thinking problems: Problems with concentration, focus, memory, logical thinking or speech, for which the cause is unclear.
Unusual behaviour: Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behaviour compared to the person’s usual way of acting.
Physical pain: Several unexplained physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches.
Substance abuse: Sudden frequent and heightened use of alcohol and/or drugs.
How to react
If you notice a player experiencing these symptoms, remember to remain non-judgmental and allow them to tell their story. Please take note of the fact that resources are available. Also, encourage seeking help, e.g. From a mental health specialist.
If a player has suicidal thoughts or is thinking about self-harm, call the emergency service right away.