Sunday, 8 January 2017

Ideas of How to Help Someone in Need

What can you do if you become aware of someone who is having a tough time. Do you just ignore them and leave them to contact you or is there anything that you can do to assist?

This topic came up recently and I was sad to hear that some believe that there is nothing one can do unless the person comes to you and expressly asks for help. There are, however, many reasons as to why a person who is having a hard time might not reach out and ask for help. They might be embarrassed or too depressed to ask. Very practically, depending on the nature of the difficulty, the person might also lack the funds to make a call. So what can you do to help?

Here are just a few ideas but if you put your mind to it, I am sure you can come up with others too. You can call and invite them out. Go to the persons home and take them out to a place of nature. Somewhere that is beautiful where they can feel completely away from their problems and able to begin to entertain the concept that life can get better. You can go for a walk with them, share thoughts about the beauty that you see. Go for a run if need be, some kind of exercise to help the person to increase their oxygen level and get their circulation going.  You can even take a picnic with you. If the person is having a hard time, chances are they might not be eating properly. So take along something healthy and filling.

Once you have given the person the opportunity to take their mind off their problems for a little in a non-threatening way, you can ask them what they need or what it will take for them to be happy or fulfilled. Or ask if they wish to talk about the difficulties that they are experiencing and if they know what will make their life or situation easier. Then be ready to listen. Remember, if the person is cold, chances are they will need a blanket or heater not a summer cap and bucket of ice. This might sound like an extreme example but the point is that it is important to listen to the actual need of the other and not to impose what you think they should need. 

If they want to just talk then let them and be prepared to listen. Sometimes a listening ear makes the world of difference. If they would like a regular walking partner or to get into nature regularly or to get out of their home or ideas of jobs in types of work that they are able to carry out, then hear that, acknowledge that and decide which of them you can assist with. It might be that you are not able to but can brainstorm where the person can find this help from. That is fine too. The point is to hear them and to show that you are there for them.

What other ideas would you come up with? Are you the type of person to reach out and help when you discover that a friend or relative is in need or do you just sit back and wait for them to call and talk about how terrible they are if they don't. If you are the latter, what stops you from taking the energy that you expend in talking to someone else about the person in need and rather going to visit and putting in the effort to find out what you can do to help?

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

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