As human beings we are naturally social creatures. For many of us our close relationships with friends and family are among the most important parts of our lives. Many of us will spend a large amount of our time and energy supporting others, therefore it is important that we continue to practice good self-care. Knowing how to offer support to someone can also be a handy skill to learn. Check out the resources and information listed below to learn more about supporting others.
If you are concerned about yourself please get in touch with your GP or alternatively you can speak with a Student Care advisor who will help you to identify appropriate supports and refer on as needed.
Practical tips on looking after others
- Offer your support. Let your friend or family member know that you are here for them when they are ready to talk.
- Know when to talk. Pick a nice quiet spot to talk, meet with them one on one rather than in a group, avoid talking during stressful times i.e. meal times, and choose a time when you both have plenty of time to chat.
- Be prepared with what you want to talk to them about.
- Be respectful of their boundaries and privacy, they may not be ready to talk to you about what is going on for them.
- When your friend is ready to talk ask open questions like “what can I do to support you with that?” practice reflective listening using phrases like “it sounds as if” “what I understand is that” and don’t worry if you don’t understand your friend will appreciate you just being there.
- Keep up with all the fun stuff that you normally do together.
- Keep in touch. Do small things for your friend to show them that you care and that you are thinking of them.
- Encourage them to seek support. Offer to help your friend access some professional support and to go with them to the first appointment.
- Look after yourself. Supporting a friend or family member through a tough time can be challenging therefore it is important that you look after yourself, continue to keep up with your daily routine and get support for yourself.
Need More Information?
- Mental Health Foundation - Worried about someone?
- Support Groups in Canterbury
- All Right? - Getting Through Together
- The Check In App - Use this app to check in with your friends
- How to support a friend who is struggling
Supporting a friend with something specific
- How to support a colleague with Depression
- Support for a friend with an Eating Disorder
- Support for a friend with Bipolar Disorder
- Support for a friend with Depression
- Support for a friend with Anxiety
- How to help a grieving friend
- Supporting a friend with a Mental Illness
- Supporting a friend or loved one with Cancer
- Rumours – How do we support someone targeted?
- Supporting someone who is suicidal
- Supporting a friend through separation
If you require urgent or crisis mental health care please call Crisis Resolution on 0800 920 092 or dial 111.