NAMI on Campus
Words That Can Help
A strong support network can sure help to make life seem a little better for those experiencing a tough time. However, sometimes it's hard to know the right thing to do or say to help a friend or family member feel better. Even with the best of intentions, we may sometimes end up leaving friends or family members frustrated, hurt or annoyed. We may want to help them but simply do not know how.
It helps to communicate with your friends and family about what you can say or do to be the most helpful and supportive when life gets difficult for them or they are not feeling well. They will probably appreciate your concern and interest in learning what helps them most during their times of need. Plus you will benefit from being able to provide better-informed support that truly helps the ones you love and care about.
Here are some statements and questions you can ask the next time you have a friend or family member in need. They may be simple, but they work.
- How can I best support you right now?
- What would make you feel better; is there something I can do or can we involve others who can help?
- Everyone needs help now and again; itís okay to ask for it.
- You are not alone, I am here for you; itís what true friends are for.
- We can get through this together.
- I am happy to listen and to really hear you.
- You are perfect just the way you are.
- Itís okay to feel the way you do.
- You are an incredibly strong person to have gone through this.
- I admire you and your strength in working through tough times.
- You are a wonderful person and I am so lucky to know you.
- Is there any information or resources we can find together to help?
- Does this require seeking mental health services and support and if so, can I help you make an appointment?
- Can I help you with your day-to-day responsibilities until you are feeling stronger?
- If you are not in the mood to talk right now, when can I check back to see how I can help?
Remember, ultimately the greatest thing you can do for those you love is to just be their friend in times of need and truly listen to their thoughts and feelings. If you simply do this, you can't go wrong!