How to check in with someone during the COVID-19 pandemic

This article is adapted from a piece previously published on Beyond Blue’s website

As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, one of the most important things we can all do is check in with each other.

If you know someone who is struggling more than most during this testing time, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. If in-person catch-ups aren't possible due to restrictions, make the most of social media and apps such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime, or simply chat over the phone – to stay in touch and check in with loved ones.

When gearing up to have a conversation with someone you care about – especially if it’s a sensitive one – it’s normal to be nervous about saying the wrong thing or putting your foot in it. If you’re worried the person you care about is experiencing anxiety or depression, it might help to read up on the signs and symptoms first.

There’s no right or wrong way to go about checking in with someone who’s having a hard time with their mental health and wellbeing but it’s important that you choose a way that feels comfortable.

Here are three easy steps:

Ask if they want to talk about things with you first. It might be that they don’t want to and that’s OK too. Maybe you’re not the right person for them to talk to, but you can make some suggestions.

Listen silence may seem awkward at first but think of it as a chance for both of you to gather your thoughts. If you’re finding it difficult to understand what they’re talking about, it’s okay to ask them to explain further.

Support is the most important thing you can offer and if they refuse, help them explore their options for how they could begin to feel better.

Check out our ‘Have the conversation’ section for more tips and advice.

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