How can I help?

Do you have a family member, friend or colleague who is experiencing chronic distress? Do you want to help them, but not know how? Here’s some suggestions to start with.

two people sitting in camp chairs under a tree watching the sunset

  • Show interest in their wellbeing. “How are you doing today, mate? I know things have been rough for you recently.”
  • Ask them, in a supportive and positive way, how you can help. “I’d love to help you out! Is there something in particular I can do?”
  • Let them know why you like them. “I was just reading this book about brave and amazing women, and it reminded me of you!”
  • Spend time with them. “I want to come over to your place and marathon some Netflix!”
  • Give them a reason to leave the house. “Let’s go and have a BBQ at the beach for dinner.”
  • If they open up to you, reassure them that they made the right choice. “Thank you for sharing, hun. I know it couldn’t have been easy, but I’m so glad you did.”
  • Encourage them to get help from professionals. “Have you talked to your GP about this? I’m happy to come with you for support.”
  • Help them identify and deal with sources of distress. “Does seeing pics of your Dad everywhere make you worse? Well, how about we take some down temporarily and put up some pics of your puppy instead.”
  • Make them laugh. Text them jokes. Email them funny cat videos. Recommend comedy movies, or watch with them.
  • Do your research. There are websites, group, books and a wealth of resources out there that will help you to understand what they’re going through!

Remember, if you’re providing regular and ongoing support for a loved one in distress, you need to take care of yourself too.

  • Set boundaries. Be clear about what you can and can’t do.
  • Be honest. Speak from a place of compassion, and you’ll speak truly.
  • Seek support. Everyone needs a hand!
  • Take regular breaks. You need “me time” as well.
  • Look after your body! Eat, sleep and exercise regularly.

For more info, check out these links:

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