It can be difficult to figure out how to provide support to our loved ones under the extraordinary conditions brought on by the pandemic. Here are some things that you might be able to do if you observe a friend or a loved one struggling with their mental health.
Check in frequently
Call or text them from time to time just to ask how things are going. A simple reminder that someone cares can often go a long way.
Encourage them to seek professional help
Many therapists are now offering their services online, through text or audio/video calls. Prepare a list of helplines and services in your area to share with your loved one who is struggling.
Make time to listen
Practise listening actively without judgment. It is not necessary to offer advice or solutions to their problems, paying attention is often all that's needed.
Offer to help with daily tasks
Simple day-to-day tasks can sometimes become overwhelming for those suffering from mental illnesses. Look for practical ways of helping out, e.g. ordering groceries for them online.
Spend time together on distractions
Watch movies together, or discuss your hobbies or mutual interests. Such conversations on neutral topics can be very helpful to you both.
Care for yourself first
It is difficult to care for someone else if your own mental or physical health is suffering. Make time to disconnect, rest, and restore your energies.