Mental Health Month: Connecting with and Supporting Others
It’s the final week of Mental Health Awareness Month, and the City of Rocklin wraps up by sharing tips from the organization Mental Health America to connect with others, virtually.
People help to enrich our lives and get us through tough times. Sometimes they know exactly how to support us, and other times, the next best step doesn’t come naturally. Here are some ways to connect with others and help those struggling with tough times.
Practice Active Listening
Active listening requires giving the speaker full attention and putting other tasks aside. This communicates that what the speaker has to say is important. Try not to interrupt and ask open-ended questions to gain more details and clarity on the topic when appropriate.
Accept Virtual Invitations
It’s important to connect with others, especially in a time where many of us feel isolated at home. Take up invitations to participate in phone calls or video chats. This time can be used to build friendships and make meaningful connections. When physical distancing is relaxed and meeting with others outside your household is safe, make plans to do so.
Connect with Others at Places You Already Go
It’s also possible to make connections at places we are all able to currently go, like the grocery store. Having the same checker a couple of times in a row allows the opportunity to ask how they’re doing. Long lines can facilitate conversations about shared experiences, which can be noted by others wearing t-shirts featuring music, travel destinations and more.
Ask What You Can Do
Ask friends or family members who seem to be struggling what might help. If the person has difficulty articulating their needs, offer suggestions. This could involve assisting by picking up medication or food and delivering to their doorstep, helping with online research for work or school projects, or letting them know you’re available to talk things though.
Find more information and resources about COVID-19 and mental health, visit mhanational.org/covid19.
*This article is part of a series for Mental Health Awareness during the month of May. A new article with mental health tips will be released each week.