Mental Health Peer Support Infographic

Originally posted on PhD Balance social media platforms on 10/28/2020.


Mental health distress and illness are multidimensional - each condition is different, and the same condition can present differently in two individuals.


However, some signs are similar, including disrupted sleep or appetite, inability to cope with daily issues, social withdrawal, and inability to concentrate. Mental health distress can also present more subtly depending on the individual - but subtle cues don’t equate to less severity.


Mental health Peer Support. Though mental health distress is multi-dimensional, some signs are similar between conditions and/or individuals. Mental health distress can also present more subtly depending on the individual -but subtle cues don't equate to less severity. Use the "RELA" acronym to help you better recognize, approach and support someone potentially battling with mental health. R = recognize and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of mental illness E = Empathize without competition by actively listening and validating your peer's experiences. Be mindful of your words, tone and body language. L = Listen by hearing spoken words and noticing physical cues. A = Advocate for your peer's needs and for a greater need to focus on mental health in the community, academia and professional settings.

Do you know how to recognize when someone might be battling with their Mental Health? Check out the October Stronger Together poster for a handy acronym - RELA - to help you recognize distress, empathize and listen to the person, and advocate for them & better awareness of Academic Mental Health problems.


A full-text transcript of this infographic is available via google doc.


Sign up to our Stronger Together section here revisit this month's topic: Mental Illness in Grad School.