A survey of 270 mental health service users has found mixed attitudes about the relationship between service users and their friends. 62% of service users said that it helped to have their friends around at times of mental distress but 44% didn't want their friends to know they had a mental health problem and nearly half (48%) felt unable to talk to their friends about their mental health problems. Nearly a third said that they had lost friends after they had confessed to a mental health problem although 60% said their friends had reacted sympathetically and 47% said that they had offered support. Two-fifths of people said that they had received more help from their friends than doctors, counsellors, families or partners. The best forms of help were just being around, emotional support and keeping in touch.
You can read the whole survey at the Mental Health Foundation's web site at