We all want to help our friends but sometimes we don’t know how or might not have the right words to say!
You don’t have to fix anything… just be there.
Step 1: Prepare
Before you check in on a mate, you should be sure that you're in a sound headspace.
Can you give as much time as is needed?
Are you prepared to respond if someone says "no"?
Have you chosen somewhere relatively private and comfortable?
Step 2: Ask "R U OK?"
Four simple letters can make a huge difference!
Mention specific things that you’ve noticed that are out of the ordinary
Try: ‘I noticed you haven’t been to class in a couple of weeks, I just wanted to check… is everything ok?’
Or: ‘I don’t know about you, but this week has been pretty stressful for me, how are you coping?’
Step 3: Listen without judgement
Don’t interrupt or rush the conversation, listen to everything they have to say.
Embrace the awkward pause to give them a chance to keep talking
Show that you’ve listened by repeating back some of the things you’ve heard
Acknowledge that it must be hard
Step 4: Encourage action
Find out what they have done in the past that has helped them.
What do they enjoy? What helps them relax? How did they get through a similar situation?
Can they make time for one of these things in the next week?
Put the choice on them for their next step and get them to verbally commit
Step 5: Check-In
Make a time to check back in-person, over text/Facebook or phone-call
Put the reminder in your diary straight away so you don’t forget!
Ask yourself and them, "have that steps taken been helpful so far?"
If they haven't tried it, or it hasn't helped, go back to Step 3
NOTE: If they have been feeling down for two weeks, or if their mood is significantly impacting their work, uni, social life etc., then encourage them to contact a health professional.