Have their back

You’d always ask a mate how they were feeling if they were injured – asking how they’re feeling if they seem stressed or down is exactly the same.

Be specific

Be specific about what you’ve noticed when you check in, like “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?”

Encourage them

Encourage them to explain what’s been going on with questions such as “How do you feel about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?

Listen carefully

Let them know you’ve been listening carefully by repeating back what they’ve said in your own words. 

Ask how you can help them

Ask them “what could I do that might be helpful?” or “what’s something we could do right now that could help?”

You don't need answers

It’s okay to not have all of the answers, just let them know you can support them to find the help that they need. 

Connect them to professionals

Some conversations are too big for mates and whānau. If someone is really struggling, reach out to the professionals for help.