New social distancing and self-isolation rules are changing the way we keep in touch. If you're worried about someone who may already be struggling, we've got some tips that might come in handy.
⚠️ We're updating the information on this page in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak so the advice on this page may change significantly as the situation continues to develop.
We know how important human connection is. And we're aware of how hard life might be for a lot of people when we have to stay at home.
Now more than ever we need to keep our connections strong. It might feel more difficult to mention to someone that you’re worried about them, but being physically distant from one another doesn't mean we need to be socially isolated. Reaching out to someone can make a big difference if they’re going through a tough time.
During this period of uncertainty, we want to help you feel confident supporting others who may be struggling. You are not alone. If you think somebody might need help, trust your instincts and strike up a conversation.
Although we can't always see each other, it doesn't mean we can't communicate. You can still show compassion and empathy through messaging apps, virtual communities and on the phone.
It can be a video call, a phone call, a text, a DM or a chat over the garden fence. You could use this time to write a letter or an email, too. Starting a conversation and showing you care can be the first step to helping someone feel less isolated.
There’s no right or wrong way to get started. Trust your instincts and remember that you chat with people in lots of different ways every day.
It's also okay if you don’t get a response straight away. If they don't answer, they may still have read your message or seen your call. That notification buzz can be enough to interrupt someone's thoughts and may encourage them to reach out for support.
If you're worried about someone during the coronavirus outbreak, we've got some tips to help you reach out.
If you're worried about someone
How to get the conversation started
If you're worried about someone, have a look at our page How to support someone you're worried about, which contains guidance on how to start a difficult conversation, as well as listening tips and advice from Samaritans volunteers.
Tools you could use
Technology has made it much easier for us to keep in touch now that we can’t talk face to face. There are loads of free and easy-to-use tools to help you reach out to someone and show them that you care. That virtual dinner, chat or drink could make all the difference.
- If you're speaking on the phone, use video if you can. It can make it easier to read people's body language and can help build trust
- You can text, too. It's best to use whichever method of contact you usually speak to them on so they feel comfortable