Helping A Friend (Pastor Alinicia Gibson)

If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with mental health challenges, the first thing I want you to know is that it’s not your job to “heal” them. And honestly, they probably aren’t looking for you to do that anyway. So many people get caught up in thinking that they need to “fix” other people when that’s not their job at all.

Instead, focus on letting them know that you are there for them and an ear that will listen. Many times people aren’t looking for someone to tell them what to do, they just want to know that they have a friend who will be there for them. You can be this person! Here are a few things to remember                                                                                                                                                                                                                         If you don’t understand what they are going through, then don’t say that you do.   We all have our own issues.

  1. Do not break their trust. If they are sharing something with you in private, don’t tell anyone else about it. The one exception is if they are having suicidal thoughts and you need to get them help.
  2. Check in on them. Don’t wait for them to contact you.
  3. If you ask them how they are doing and they say “fine” or “good”, then ask them how they are really doing. Let them know you want the real answer, not the fake answer they think you want to hear.
  4. Look for ways to encourage them or show that you are thinking about them.
  5. Just listen. Really listen…actively. Don’t pretend to listen while thinking about something else. It can be hard to share personal things and if they find out you aren’t really listening, they aren’t going to open up to you again.
  6. Don’t do or say anything that implies you think they need to “just get over it”.