As we get nearer to Christmas, it is important to remember our family, friends, neighbors and work colleagues who may be going through a really tough time. This could be because it is the first Christmas that they are away from their family or friends. It may be that Christmas reminds them of the passing of someone close to them. Maybe they are in financial trouble or they may be a recipient of abuse, bullying or violence. Maybe they are or have been in the military or involved in an emergency service.
Sometimes a simple “hi, how are you today?” is all that is needed to help someone who is struggling to speak up. In some cases they just want company, especially if they are alone at Christmas for the first time. It is not unusual to hear someone say “I didn’t know they were struggling” when a person close to them attempts to or takes their own life.
A few do’s and don’ts;
- Don’t tell them to get over it
- Don’t tell them you know how they feel
- Don’t tell them to grow up or stop being a sook
- Don’t encourage them to drink alcohol or take social drugs
- Do be there for them
- Do encourage them to seek help
- Do listen when they are talking and don’t butt in
People who call Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support line (13 11 14) do so for a range of reasons including but not limited to; family and relationship concerns, crisis support, suicide prevention, matters relating to abuse and violence, support and information about drug and alcohol use and loneliness.