1. Listen. It is incredible how having someone actively listen to you and accept how you feel about something helps someone solve their own problems or recognise, sometimes with your help, the need to speak to parents, a doctor or other professional service.
2. Validate their feelings. You don't have to agree but try and put yourself in their shoes and understand how they feel. Let them speak without interruption. Reflect back what they have said to you without giving your judgement. e.g.:
"That sounds like a terrible thing you have been through..."
"I understand why that would make you feel this way."
3. Communicate your support - let them know you are here to support and help them.
"I can help you get the help you need, let's go and talk to ..."
"Do you want me to help you talk to your parents?"
"I'm here for you to talk to whenever you need."
If this a really difficult topic for you, say:
"This is bigger than both of us. I would like to ask an adult for help" or
"This is bigger than both of us, I think we need to make an appointment with [GP, psychologist, school counsellor or other professional]"
You can also call KHL, or 000 if an emergency, and ask their advice
4. Give praise.
"That was really brave of you to tell me about ..."
"I'm so honoured you have chosen me to talk about .."
5. Show trust. Show them you trust how they feel and involve them in coming up with their own solutions. e.g
"I can understand why you feel bad about that. How could you handle that conversation differently next time?"
6. Control your emotions. If what they tell you is difficult to hear, take a deep breath and let them finish. Try not to judge or show disapproval or shock. If you need help refer to 7 below.
7. Professional Help. If you feel uncomfortable with the topic or it is something you feel needs professional help. Tell them
"This is bigger than both of us, I think we need to make an appointment with [GP, psychologist, school counsellor or other professionals]"
Help them get to the help they need.
8. Look after yourself. Sometimes it can be hard to support someone. It can also trigger some feelings in you that you find hard to cope with. Make sure you have a good support network around you - set up your own Crew - and talk to them if you need support.
Don't know how to start the conversation? Click here for some ideas:
Crewing for someone is not meant to be hard or challenging. We DONOT askyou to provide professional help. We have plenty of amazing professional help links to people who are experts in their field. Use them if you feel uncomfortable or think they are required. WE DO ask you to listen and acknowledge how your person is feeling about their issue, and help them get professional help if it is needed.
If you are under 18 and you feel uncomfortable, this is when you reach out to your own Crew or KHL to get some advice on what to do. You can also see our Pathways to Help - Crew to step you through.
Crew take the oath below to support their people:
No problem is too big or too small
You will get help from me
You will not get in trouble from me
Our conversation is confidential (unless I think you are at risk or may be a risk to others)
The oath is an important part of being Crew but it is not meant to be overwhelming. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to do to support someone. You may feel stressed or scared you'll say the wrong thing.