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How Can You Support A Friend In A Crisis?

How Can You Support A Friend In A Crisis?

None of us like to think about the worst case scenario, but life isn't a fairytale and sometimes, situations occur in our lives or those of our friends which need a crisis management approach. Being able to remain calm and determine the best course of action in the midst of panic and upset is a hugely valuable talent. And whether you can bring that to your own life or you are supporting a friend or loved one through a sticky situation, you'll be able to know you've made a real difference. Whether it's a medical issue, a legal matter, ongoing illness or troubles with jobs or relationships, there's always a wise word to offer that could just change someone's life and make them feel cared for in a time of need.


Take The First Step And Reach Out

When something unspeakable like bereavement or redundancy happens, often people don't know what to say. And for fear of saying the wrong thing, they don't say anything and even go so far as to actively avoid the person experiencing it, which can be intensely painful and isolating for them at an already challenging time. Know that by reaching out, even if you acknowledge that you don't have the right words to say, can mean the world to someone going through a terrible situation. There's no right way for them to feel or act - just let them know that you are there if they need you and if they feel like they want to talk or just need some company. It's painful to confront pain in others - sometimes we want to avoid it because it hits too close to home or we feel buried under the weight of our own issues. But it's hugely important to make contact when you can see someone is struggling. Let your friend know you are there, just as you would hope they would be there for you.


Signpost To Professional Support

In a lot of dire situations, we don't feel qualified to give advice and we shouldn't, as it takes a professional. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to pass on the contact details of someone who really can help. Whether that's a grief counsellor, a debt advice service, a lawyer who can advise on the civil lawsuit process or a medical professional, you then know that your friend is getting the best possible advice and you can focus on providing the emotional support or some of the practicalities.


Provide A Voice Of Positivity

Timing is everything, but if you can give someone hope, you've done an amazing thing. It can be complicated, as they will need time to process the shock and sadness first, which can take varying amounts of time depending on the person and the situation, but try to prevent them getting into a prolonged cycle of negativity which isn't good for mental health. Remind them gently that there is always hope. Even if it's just pointing out that expressing their pain is healthy, they don't need a partner in misery, they need someone who can lift them up. If you can manage that, you will be a very great friend indeed.

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Bloom Magazine: How Can You Support A Friend In A Crisis?
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