Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Allied Sciences, Nehru Nagar, New Delhi

By VIMHANS Social Media Team:

The COVID 19 Pandemic has surely taught us the importance of community and family. People across the globe have come together in times of absolute desperation. Our mental health too, has gone through a journey, and while so many of us managed to stay afloat, there are so many friends, loved ones, and family members that are still vulnerable. So let’s say you realise the need to reach out to someone, to truly extend yourself to them, and make yourself available in your capacity. Maybe this will help:

  • Reach Out, like you mean it: The first step to addressing your concern for a loved one is to express it. Despite any distance, any apprehension, or nature of association - you are doing it with good intent, and that is most important.
  • Ask them how they are feeling: You will be surprised how helpful it is to simply be asked this question. It feels like one’s feelings matter, because they do! Acknowledging our feelings goes a long way for our mental and emotional health. When we tell ourselves or others that we feel sad, despair, low, or scared, we accept our emotions. This acceptance leads to better emotional regulation and management.
  • Be an informed, good listener: A kind ear, positive re-inforcement, and someone to ignite hope at the right time. Sometimes this is all that is required.
  • Understand the appropriate solutions: Offering a solution only if you have one is a great policy. Unsolicited advice may not always be welcome by everyone, and can be an irresponsible move. The other way to deal with such a circumstance can be to refer ahead to a professional, or someone better informed.
  • Extend ANY support: With a direct and indirect source, or go the extra mile for information on any other relevant resources that may seem legit or highly recommended. You can also encourage the individual to be open to receiving supportive counseling for developing coping skills, facing daily life and strategies for stress management from a professional. Recognise that stigma may pose a significant barrier in seeking help. But remember that every step counts...
  • Avoid Taking Away from Their Experience: Times of shared trauma or despair may make us think that another one had it much worse. But avoid trying to comfort someone with that statement, as it takes away from the present moment.
  • Remind them to treat themselves gently
  • Follow up with them: drop in a text, a check in, a way to say you care. Get going now, today is all we have :)

Reaching out to someone in need requires the most basic tools, your good intent, a patient ear, and empathy. We all have experienced such an overwhelming time lately, and while some of us sprung into action and got our act going, a lot of us were helpless and unable. Here's hoping this listicle helps you, and aids you in your reaching outwards and reaching inwards journey…

#covid19support, #pandemic, #reachout, #mentalhealth, #Vimhans, #good, #intent, #feelings, #action, #empathy, #psychology, #india, #friend, #family

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