We all go through tough times, and we might have a friend or family member who we reach out to talk to. On the other hand, we have also been worried about another person’s mental health. Whether they are a friend, family member or colleague, there are many ways to support somebody you care about.

With the increase in the cost of living, people will be under a lot more stress and worry. Relationships can come under a lot of extra strain, especially when you’re worried about your finances. Below are some tips about starting that conversation.

Start the conversation

It can be challenging to know what to do if you are worried about someone. When you know there is an issue, arrange to sit down and have a chat.

Talking to someone is often the first step when you know they are having a hard time. This way, you can find out what is troubling them and what you can do to help.

Respectful, constructive communication

The best way to help is to ask questions. That way you leave the other person in control.

Try to make conversations on difficult or triggering topics as constructive as possible. Visit CommunityWellbeing.info to get information and access to further support. 

Talking about issues like money can bring up all kinds of strong feelings, including guilt, shame and regret. These feelings can make us act rashly and that can lead to the discussion becoming heated, angry or unfocused.

It may be helpful to agree some ground rules before you start your conversation. Relate has some useful advice on communicating effectively under pressure. 

Worried about a loved one’s addiction

Stressors like worrying about money and the rise in the cost of living can drive you towards addictive behaviour. These behaviours can seem like a release or an escape from the reality of your money problems.

Whether you’re worried about your own recovery or that of someone you care about, it’s important to know when to ask for help.

Visit CommunityWellbeing.info for tips on taking control and getting help with addictive behaviours.

Supporting others

Witnessing someone you care about in a distressed state and/or providing support can also take its toll on you. It is important that you look after your own mental health and do not take on more than you are comfortable with.  Make sure you put support measures in place for yourself and seek help if necessary.

Help to manage the rising cost of living

CommunityWellbeing.info has more information on managing the rising cost of living