For the last week of Mental Health Month, Balanced You is focusing on the topic “supporting others.” Widening our view from self-care to collective care by supporting others’ mental health is important, especially during the ongoing pandemic, which has increased stress for so many.
While you may not be able to fix someone’s mental well-being, there are simple things you can say or do to help people in your life who are struggling. Actions such as practicing active listening by giving your complete attention to the person talking, asking how you can help, not judging, and knowing when to call for more help can have a big impact on someone going through a tough time.
Furthermore, when you offer help to someone struggling with their mental health, you’ll also improve your health, as social connection and doing for others are closely linked to overall well-being and a stronger ability to bounce back from stressful situations.
Tools and tips for supporting others
Even when you know someone is struggling, it can be difficult to start a conversation with them about what is happening in their life. To better understand how to start the conversation, and what you can do to support others, we encourage you to look at the Supporting Others tool. The tool, developed by Mental Health America, offers helpful facts, tips, and an activity sheet that provides different templates on how to start a conversation when supporting others.
Access the Supporting Others tool here.
Additional mental health resources
In addition to the Supporting Others tool, Balanced You has resources King County employees can access to support your mental health. Many of these resources have updated their offerings to include COVID-19 related content.
- Counseling via telehealth: Regence and Kaiser therapists and other healthcare providers, including doctors and physical therapists, can be accessed from your home, via telehealth. If you have a provider, ask them if telehealth is available. If you do not have a certain type of provider and would like one, contact your insurance company.
- Making Life Easier and Employee Assistance Program: Making Life Easier (MLE) provides many free counseling and referrals, credit and legal consultations, mortgage assistance, childcare resources and referrals, and other daily living supports. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free counseling to help King County employees navigate workplace stress.
- Better Choices, Better Health: Better Choices, Better Health is a six-week, online, small-group based workshop designed to improve the lives of people living with long-term health conditions, including anxiety and depression. This program is free for King County employees and dependents.
- Mindfulness: A mindfulness practice can help you reduce stress at work and at home. Free classes and videos are available to King County employees. The classes are live, interactive, and available online during the pandemic. The videos range from two to 14 minutes and are available on-demand.
- Mental Health Resource Guide: View this guide for additional King County and community-based mental health support resources.
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