Support their mental health and yours too.
The last 2 years have been really hard. Worry, isolation, hardship and grief are weighing heavier than usual on a lot of us. Everyday activities can feel overwhelming, and sometimes we need extra support.
Checking in with family and friends, offering a little help or just listening can be the lift someone needs. Here are some ways you can help.
Tip #1 - Thinking about a friend? Let them know.
Be spontaneous. Reaching out and connecting in the moment can make all the difference in someone’s day. It's good for your health too.
Tip #2 - Find ways to meet in person.
We’ve been apart too long. Whether you meet up for a walk in a park or for lunch outdoors, finding ways to meet in person that are comfortable for both you and your friend will help you re-bond.
Tip #3 - Share a laugh!
Laughter helps both physical and mental health. Sharing a silly meme, a joke, story or a photo that tickles your funny bone helps us find joy, and can be just the pick-me-up that someone else needs.
Tip #4 - Stay connected.
Texts, calls, social media—staying in touch with family or friends regularly can help them out of a slump, or simply brighten their day.
Tip #5 - Lead with kindness.
Remember, everyone’s struggling with something. Courtesy and kindness—a thank you, a friendly conversation, some patience—go a long way. Especially for our frontline workers.
Tip #6 - Make a little extra food to share.
Know any friends or neighbors who might need a bit of care? Or some time back? Sharing food is an easy (and delicious!) way to help.
Tip #7 - Lend a hand.
A little help can make a big difference. Washing dishes, doing laundry, mowing the lawn or watching the kids can give someone a needed break.
Tip #8 - Get past “fine.”
Conversation is a powerful coping tool. These conversation starters can help get at how people are really doing:
- What have you been thinking about lately?
- What has made you smile this week?
- I’ve been thinking about you. How’s your heart today?
- What are you listening to, watching, reading?
- What’s something you’re looking forward to?
- What’s been hard lately?
Tip #9 - Help find ways to reduce stress.
Remembering to take care of ourselves AND finding the time is hard. Ask someone what they do to take care of themselves and make a short list of easy, day-to-day activities that can help reduce stress. Encourage each other to make time for wellness.
Tip #10 - Encourage people to get the support they need.
Make time to talk, connect them to others or share ideas for where they can get professional help. If you offer support, they’re far more likely to seek and get help.
- Multnomah County Behavioral Health Call Center | 503-988-4888
24/7 non-crisis and crisis support for all ages
- Senior Loneliness Line (55+) | 503-200-1633 or 800-282-7035
- The Trevor Project (LGBTQ) | 866-488-7386 or text ‘START’ to 678-678
- Trans Lifeline’s Hotline | 877-565-8860
- OHSU Avel Gordly Center for Healing, Portland | 503-418-5311
- Racial Equity Support Line (Lines for Life) | 503-575-3764
More culturally-specific resources»
- How Right Now | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- How Connections Help Mental Health America
- COVID-19 and Your Mental Health | Mayo Clinic