It’s important to look after each other.
Supporting others your own age has a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
There are many simple ways to offer support to your peers.
Here are 5 steps you may find helpful. Once you have checked in and asked someone how they are:
If you ask someone how they are, make sure you:
- Meet them. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they might feel and meet them where they are (emotionally)
- Listen and Hear. Show this by looking at them when they speak, nodding when you understand, not interrupting, asking questions to clarify and summariseEg: What I am hearing is…
- Recognise and validate their emotions and how they feel. Reflect back what they have said.Eg: I can hear you are feeling angry
- Acknowledge their pain without judgement by showing acceptance and understanding.Eg : That’s really sucks OR That sounds really challenging
- Show gratutide that they have opened up. Opening up when we are in pain is hard, so show them that you appreciate this.Eg : Thank you for sharing with me Or That must be so hard to talk about
Why is it important to respond with empathy?
Being empathetic towards others helps them to open up and speak about how they’re feeling.
Please remember : You are not a psychologist or Doctor and it’s not your job to provide treatment options. Just by being an empathetic classmate or friend you are making a HUGE difference. You may like to suggest that the person going through a tough times speaks with a trusted adult (speaking with a parent, counsellor, teacher etc). If you are worried about someone’s safety, always seek help from a trusted adult as soon as possible