I recently discovered the folks over at Time to Change. They have some excellent videos and resources on mental health. Here’s a few highlights from one of their articles, 5 Simple Ways to Support a Mate with a Mental Health Problem.
Meet for Coffee – “The amazing thing about meeting for a coffee or asking someone if they’d like to drop in for a cup of tea is that you can do it almost anywhere, anytime.” Just being present with a friend who is struggling provides comfort, empathy, and courage to face the world. Remember that it’s important to listen without judgment.
Asking how they are – slowing down long enough to ask how’s it going and then patiently listening opens the door for your mate to open up to you.
Find safe places to talk – “Walking together or sitting driving are both amazing, because the experience of talking to someone whilst you’re side by side can be so much more freeing and less daunting than face to face.”
Post power – If you can’t connect in person, send a letter or a little parcel if you can. It’s retro which is why it’s also meaningful.
Little gestures – you don’t have to be extravagant (I am and it’s a blessing and a curse) but little things can communicate your care and support for your mate.
Check out the whole article for the full story but it all comes down to being mindful of your mates, slowing down to really listen, and just bring present in their life.
How do you support your mates?