Check in with them.
Choose an appropriate time and ask how they’re doing. Let them know that you’ve noticed that they seem a bit different (e.g. flat, irritable, tearful) and are wondering if you can help.
Don’t be surprised if they don’t open up there and then. Remember they didn’t know you were going to ask them, even if you spent ages preparing your approach. The main thing is they will have clocked that you are interested in their welfare and someone they can turn to if they want to in the future.
If they do open up, don’t feel you need to fix things. Listening is powerful in itself. Having space to talk and think and knowing that someone cares is really helpful.
Depending on the source of the stress, you can signpost them to this website for practical help, on understanding their reactions and tips on coping.
If you would like more information on how to effectively support those around you during this time you can find more information here on Psychological First Aid. PFA is based on a set of principles that we know help people to cope with and recover from ongoing situations like those arising from COVID19. There’s also an e-learning module designed to teach the principles of PFA to anyone who is delivering health or social care.
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