This article is written for RUOK day which is on September 12th!
Is your friend going through a rough patch? If so there are ways to support them.
Listen to them
Don’t judge them but just listen to them. Let them talk. You can ask questions but just let them talk about their problems. They have made the first step in coming to you for help.
Empathize with them
Put yourself in their shoes. Feel how they feel. Tell them how you feel if you were put in the same situation. It could be like, “I would feel this way too!” or “I feel sorry for you!”
Spend some time with them
This could be going to the movies or spending some time in nature. Whatever you guys like to do. Some people like to have coffee or tea with them and that’s ok.
Keep it confidential
Don’t gossip to other friends or it will make things worse for them. Keep their worries to yourself!
Check-in on them
This can be done online, over the phone or face to face. A simple “How are you?” helps.
Help them with practical things
For example, do they need someone to cook or clean for them? Help with the groceries? You could be a good friend and do that for them.
Get them the professional help if they need
There are lots of professional services out there to help them if they are depressed, have anxiety or are being suicidal.
Lifeline is often a useful service that is free of charge. Don’t wait, do it today.