5. How often should I check in with them?
This will depend on what the person you’re supporting needs, and how often you’re able to be there.
If possible, discuss this with the person you’re supporting and choose something that works for you both.
You might agree to send them a message, or to chat in person or online, at regular intervals. You might coordinate how often you check in with someone else who is able to offer support.
How you do this is something that you and the person you’re supporting could talk about together, if you make a safety plan.
If you think someone might be struggling
If you’re checking in with someone because you’ve noticed a sign they might be struggling - such as using phrases like ‘I’m worthless’ - it might be useful to mention that sign, in a non judgemental way, and ask them how they’re doing.
Sometimes, the person we’re checking in with might have gone quiet, or not communicated with us in a while. This can sometimes happen when people are not feeling well. Often people don’t reach out because they’re worried they’ll be a burden or because they feel shame.
When you reach out, you’re letting the person you’re supporting know that they’re not a burden, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
If you are worried about someone, it’s important to be persistent. Don’t try to force them to open up to you - they might not be ready or able to do that. But do keep letting them know that you’re there for them.
You can use how you’ve communicated with the person you’re supporting in the past as your guide. It’s okay to talk in the way that you’re used to speaking to each other. And it’s also okay to be present for them without talking too - this let’s them know you’re there.