Chances are we all know someone who's struggling with unspoken issues. Here's how to recognize it, thoughtfully reach out, and help.
What's the best way to help someone who is struggling? We want to be supportive of friends, colleagues, and coworkers, but interacting in a virtual environment brings new levels of complexity to addressing mental health issues in the office. How do you initiate a conversation without fear of offending?
It’s not always easy to recognize when someone is struggling. In many instances, they may be adept at hiding it; others may not even know there’s something wrong. Here are a few signs that indicate someone may need help.
Recognizing that a colleague may need help is stressful, and broaching the subject with them can be challenging--which is why it’s imperative to do it with sensitivity and empathy. Here are some things to keep in mind when reaching out.
Strategies for starting the conversation
Engage and Maintain
These types of conversations are complex and rarely easy. Remember: while it may feel uncomfortable for you, it’s much more difficult for the other person. You want to tread lightly, but also to identify the issues they’re dealing with and find ways to offer help. As this can be a delicate balance, here are a few tips to help guide the discussion.
When and how to provide additional support
After someone confides in you, follow up with them regularly to make sure that they know you’re always there for them. Conduct additional research on your own to better understand what they’re going through, and how you can best provide support. Finally, ask them if they’d like your assistance in finding professional help.
It’s never easy to ask for help--especially in light of the enduring stigma of mental health issues--but with the support and encouragement of someone who cares, the ask becomes that much less daunting.
Additional Mental Health Resources:
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