I would say I am there when they want to talk and when they are ready. I would instill all the good things I love about them. I would give them things to laugh about
I wouldn't try to force them to talk or tell them to just be happy.
Remember you're amazing just as you are
What if you approach someone to talk, and they don't want to? Is that okay? What if you're worried that they might hurt themselves?
I think this can be a very real and valid scenario - but the thing to take away is you have asked them. And sometimes that is a difference in itself. Sometimes people don't realise they are not okay until they think about it. People might say no on impulse or due to being put off guard.
If you are worried they might hurt themselves - talking to someone that knows them- such as a family member, another friend etc may be helpful. You could always raise your concerns again down the track.
If they don't want to talk you can tell them that if they need, when they are ready you will be there. It's deffinately okay to not want to talk, sometimes there is nothing you can say.
If you're worried they might hurt themself you can let them know your concerns and make sure they are aware of help if needed
Remember you're amazing just as you are
Good thoughts guys I just want to add that if you're really concerned that a friend might hurt themselves, it's important that you take action to ensure their safety. That might mean having to talk to someone else in their life, like a family member, teacher or other adult - which can sometimes be an awful thing to have to do, but it's better to be safe than sorry. You can also contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Lifeline (13 11 14) for advice.
Thanks for a great conversation tonight everyone. If you missed out on being part of it here is a summary below.
1. Have you ever heard of RUOK day? What do you think it is about? Do you think it's a good idea?
- Alot of us have known about RUOKAY day for quite some time.
- RUOKAY – is a day about mental health awareness and starting what can be a difficult conversation. It provides information on how to have these conversations. We need to be able to have meaningful conversations in difficult times. It has created an opportunity for people to have these conversations. It is a day dedicated to making suicide something that can be talked about and hopefully as a result suicide rates will be lowered.
- It is also about supporting people in need of assistance. It is hard for people to admit when they are not okay. So this day isn’t just about the people asking questions it should also recognise the people answering questions. We all play a crucial role in helping others answer difficult questions.
- It is important to realise that one day might not be enough to promote all the great things it does as we may need to ask difficult questions and have difficult conversations more than once in our lives.
- After all it may be a pretty good day to tell someone you need some help.
- Overall …. RUOKAY is a Fantastic idea, great idea.
2. What do you think the benefits are to reaching out for help? At what point do you think you or others should reach out to others for support during hard times?
- It is important to get help before things get too hard. Our bodies are good at tricking us into thinking we are fine when really sometimes things are so great.
- We often feel less alone and less supported once we reach out for help. Sometimes it is hard to realise when things aren’t so great, but if we do this in our own time talking to anyone can be beneficial.
- After all humans do not live in solidarity – we need people around us. Having on going and consistent conversations may be the key – rather than allowing things to build up on us.
3. Sometimes, people find it really hard to ask for help. Why do you think this might be?
- People struggle with talking OR listening. People may not ask for help in fear of a response or lack of response.
- People feel like they won’t be believed.
- People see it as a sign of weakness or our pride gets in the way.
- So many of us strive for unrealistic ideals – like being 100% happy, or for life to be 100% perfect.
- Admitting it to yourself is hard.
- Lack of people around to ask for help.
- People like to work things out for themselves.
- Judgement and stigma.
- Not knowing where to turn to.
4. Have you ever been in a situation where someone isn't doing well, and you've started a conversation with them about it? How did you go about this?
- Some people have found themselves in situations where they offer their help. Making yourself available and listening are big thing in being able to do this.
- Casually talking about general things and then approaching the topic may be a way to bring up when a person isn’t doing so well.
- Making sure the conversation is in a safe and private environment may also be something to consider.
- Not providing too much advice can be a good thing.
5. If you were going through a hard time, what would you want people to do? Would you want someone to start a conversation with you about it? How would you like them to approach you?
- Some people felt it was easier for someone to approach them if they were having a difficult time. Listening and the other person not making the situation about themselves was a preferred way of people approaching a difficult conversations.
- After having a difficult conversation with someone it is nice if they check in on you. Often we can feel quite alone and it feels like we are cared about when people take the time out to check in with us.
6. What kinds of things do you think you could say to someone if you were worried they were having a hard time? What kinds of things wouldn't you say?
I've noticed you've seemed to be having a hard time... what's happening?
- Is there anything you want to talk about?
- Is there anything I can do?
- I'm here if you need to talk
- Always be non-judgemental, open, patient, empathetic
- letting people know you are there when they are ready to talk
Maybe there's something wrong with you
- You should just do x, y, z (suggestions are not always helpful! Sometimes people just need someone to listen, not give advice)
- Anything judgemental about the situation - that's a stupid reason to be upset, why are you even bothered by that, etc
- You should just get over it
- wouldn’t push them to talk if they said they were okay.
7. What if you approach someone to talk, and they don't want to? Is that okay? What if you're worried that they might hurt themselves?
This can be a very real and valid scenario - but the thing to take away is you have asked them. And sometimes that is a difference in itself. Sometimes people don't realise they are not okay until they think about it. People might say no on impulse or due to being put off guard.
If you are worried they might hurt themselves - talking to someone that knows them- such as a family member, another friend etc may be helpful. You could always raise your concerns again down the track. You can also make sure they are aware of services or people out there willing to help.
So imagine you've approached someone you're worried about, had a conversation, and now you'd like to give them some more information on stuff like depression, stress, or feeling overwhelmed. Where can you look for information? Are there any services you might suggest to someone who needs help?
Check out our help page: http://au.reachout.com/Tough-Times/Getting-help/Helping-myself-and-others
And if you're worried about someone hurting themselves, contact any of these: http://au.reachout.com/Emergency-Help
Alright, time to wrap up for tonight. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and remember to check in with your friends this Thursday for RUOK day! Keep in mind that it's important to ask regularly, though - not just once a year. Take care everyone
Things to check out:
Stressed about the bushfires? Have a look here for ways to cope
We had a live chat about friends drifting apart. Check it out here
Share your thoughts in our Special Discussion on Romantic and Sexual Relationships here!
Seen something fantastic on the forums?