7 ways to support a friend going through a crisis

People face adversities in their lives, and a support network can make the difference as to how well they rebound. This is a time when you can express your love and care for your friend in various ways. Here are seven things you can do to assist a friend going through a crisis situation.

1.Assess the situation

Give your friend a chance to tell you what happened. You might need to get additional information from other sources, including family members. It is important that you remain objective, as becoming too emotionally invested in the issue could be unhelpful to your friend. Be sure to assess the risk of suicide or harm, and seek emergency help if you feel your friend is in danger.

2.Listen actively

Actively listening to your friend who is experiencing the crisis is extremely important. You need to listen not just to your friend’s words but also his or her body language. As you show that you are actively in tune to what your friend is sharing, it is important that you remain nonjudgmental. Instead, giving a sympathetic ear could be what is most needed at that time.

3.Express empathy

Empathy means understanding your friend’s point of view and consideration of what he or she is feeling. Take steps to communicate your empathy, so that your friend feels understood. Give the reassurance that is needed. You might also need to give relevant information when possible.

4.Allow your friend to express emotions

Be patient with your friend. It is likely that he or she will experience a wide range of emotions including sadness, anger, and depression. Encourage your friend to express these emotions rather than suppressing them. What is important is that you are there to support your friend whatever the feeling that is being expressed. For example, allow your friend to cry if he or she feels like it.

5.Give practical help

When you maintain a positive attitude, this could encourage and help your friend to cope with the changes in his or her life. In addition, there are practical needs to be met in the face of crisis and challenging situations. Find out what your friend needs and ask if you can help. For example, if your friend has children, you could provide some level of care for them. You could also provide nourishing meals, as in the face of crisis not much attention is given to food.

6.Encourage professional help

Your friend could need to seek professional help to effectively address the issues related to the crisis situation. Also, encourage him or her to take advantage of support resources that are available. For example, your friend might need to see a professional counselor to explore and deal with intense emotional reactions resulting from trauma or grief.

7.Take care of yourself

Take steps to take care of your own well being. It can be stressful giving your friend the support he or she needs, and you might be tempted to minimize your own needs. However, it is important that you safeguard your own health by eating balanced meals and getting adequate rest. You could also try to get other supportive people on board to lend their help.