SHOC have put together a guide to checking in with your mate this September 11th on R U Okay Day.
We all want to be understood but sometimes asking ‘are you okay?’ isn’t as easy as it sounds.
How do you ask such a simple question without feeling awkward or out of line? Not all of us have the natural confidence to ask the right question at the right time.
How you ask the question should be as important as your reason for asking. Put aside your opinions, judgement and experiences. Just keep it simple with these steps.
Listening is more than just hearing the words; it is about hearing their story, understanding their experience and feelings.
We may think we know what someone wants or needs, when in reality all they need is for you to sit there and listen to everything they tell you.
Resist the urge to interrupt them, even if you think you have something that might help them. Learning to listen is the first step forward in allowing someone to trust and open up to you.
Encouraging someone is different to telling them what to do.
Instead of telling, ask your friend what they would like you to do. If they’re unsure you may need to encourage them to seek further support.
Suggesting that they utilise the free resources and services on campus is a great idea (see below for a list). Let your mate know that you can help them with this, knowing that they have your support helps a lot.
Following up is important, it shows that you can be counted on for your continued support. It’ll also motivate them to take action. Set a date a week or two after your initial chat. Knowing you have a friend to talk to who will listen is a huge help.
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