Let’s talk about your hauora (wellbeing).

Being there for a friend when they’re struggling can be really difficult. You can only give someone as much as you give yourself.

Remember to look after yourself too.

Check in with yourself

As a friend or whānau member of someone who is going through a tough time, it’s important to pause and see how you’re reacting to what’s going on. You might not even realise that your mind, body, and wairua could be affected by the situation. It is important that you put aside some time to relax and enjoy an activity that is important to you. Make sure you’re eating well, drinking lots of water, and getting enough sleep. These things can all really help boost your resilience and emotional capacity to be there for someone.

Setting clear expectations of the support you can and cannot provide helps to keep you safe too. There can be times where supporting a friend can be difficult. They can say things that you may find upsetting or triggering.

You can still show them that you care by being real with them and both talking about the type of care you can provide. Let them know that you’re not giving up on them, explain where you’re coming from and that you’re connecting them to help because you care.

Always remember that this isn’t all on you. If someone is relying on you as their only source of support and you’re finding it a bit too much it’s okay to find other help.

Remember you’re not a counsellor, and your friend may need professional help. Get advice from others.

Support for you  

You can call The Lowdown helpline for free on 0800 111 757 or text 5626 to chat to a trained counsellor for advice and support while you are supporting someone.

Youthline are also here to help any young person in New Zealand, or anyone who is supporting a young person.

Check out the Small Steps website for free online tools like deep breathing and gratitude techniques to help out if you are feeling stressed or anxious.

Talk to whānau.

Talk to your school counsellor or any kaumatua in your life.

Being supported as the support person is incredibly important.