Staying in touch with friends and whanau is really important. It might be the last thing you want to do, but it does help. Just hanging out with mates and people who care can take the edge off how you’re feeling. People need to know what you’re going through before they can start to help. You might even discover that they’ve been where you are right now.

It’s good to remember that, for most people, family and friends care about you and want what’s best for you (even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes). They might be feeling helpless because they‘ve no idea what to do for you. But they will want to help you feel better.

When you’re going through hard times it’s a big help knowing that you’re not alone. Having whānau and friends around, even if they’re not doing much, is comforting. There are lots of ways they can help:

  • Give you emotional support by listening 
  • Support you by going to the doctor with you
  • Help you plan and nail ‘getting-well’ strategies
  • Help you to set goals
  • Make sure you eat and sleep better
  • Motivate you to exercise
  • Keep you company

Choosing the right person to talk to is important. And let’s face it, even with friends and family, there are people you just wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing really personal stuff with. That’s normal. If there’s nobody in the whānau who is right for you, look a little wider. If there’s a special teacher, coach, or family friend who you trust, maybe you should give them a go.

  • Pick someone who won’t judge you
  • Make sure they’re a good listener
  • Things to think about when you’re ready to talk to someone that might make you feel more comfortable:
  • Plan to meet when it suits both of you
  • Give yourself plenty of time
  • Choose a quiet place
  • Ask they keep things between the two of you
  • Explain your feelings and worries
  • Ask for their advice or tautoko/support
  • Suggest ways they can help

Remember don’t just trust anyone. It might take a little time to find the right person, but it’ll be worth it.

If you’re not ready for a face to face, you might want to get in touch with the Lowdown team or join one of our online forums where people are going through similar things. Both are a great start to getting better.