As someone who has been working in suicide prevention for some years now i know that often having a simple conversation can make all of the difference when a loved one is doing it tough. COVID 19 and the lock down tends to amplify how we feel when we are isolation or are isolated from the outside world - but its ok because in essence we are not as isolated as we often think. A friend or familiy member is literally only a call or message away - the challenge is having the courage to pickup the phone or send the message. Honestly, you would be surprised just how many in your network might be feeling the same way. I've put together four things we can all do now when it comes to remaining mentally healthy and well not just during the lock down period but post as well. Take a look:
#1 Pause and breathe – we know that often things can be overwhelming but one of the easiest things you can do is take a deep breath and pause momentarily. This allows you to gather your thoughts and think about who you could have a korero with. Often having a korero with a mate, loved one or whanau member can make all the difference.
#2 Five people – have five people on standby in your phone that you could text or call for a chat. If you cant reach one person, its OK; go to the next on the list. There will always be someone there to talk with you and lend a listening ear.
#3 Don’t be afraid to talk – we know things might be tough or that you might be embarrassed about what is happening but don’t be. You might be surprised how many people have either faced what you are going through or might be doing it tough themselves. Don’t be afraid to talk but also be receptive when help is offered.
#4 Listen without judgement – for those who do get a call from someone who is doing it tough listen without judgement. Sometimes we end up talking more than we know which is harder for the person who is reaching out to share. Pause, listen, talk.
And if you need more help or want to refer someone on call or text 1737 - its free.