We all go through moments of distress, suffering and uncertainty in our lives, whether big or small. Sickness, loss, work-related stress, financial difficulty, family conflict, relationship issues, and parenting responsibilities are just some of the things that can impact our well-being and take a toll on our mental health. When your partner is going through a challenging time or struggling with their mental health, your support and connection can make all the difference.
In our last blog post, we talked about supporting a loved one struggling with their mental health, and we wanted to share some meaningful ways you can reach out to your partner to check-in, offer support, and connect with them. Make sure you read to the end for this month's Conscious Connection questions.
Open the Lines of Communication
"I've noticed you seem down lately. Can you tell me what's on your mind?"
"I can see you're struggling at the moment, and I'm really worried about you. Can we talk?"
"You don’t seem like yourself. Do you want to talk about it?”
"I care about you, and I just wanted to check in and make sure you're okay. How are you doing?"
"What's been on your mind lately? You can talk to me about anything."
"Is there anything you'd like to share or talk about?"
"I'm here for you, and I'm genuinely interested in how you're feeling. How's everything going?"
"You seem a bit different lately, is there something bothering you?"
Provide Empathy, Understanding & Reassurance
"I'm so glad you reached out. I'm here for you, and we'll get through this together."
"You can talk to me any time."
"Your feelings matter, and I'm here to listen and support you."
"I can see that you're struggling. You're not alone. We'll face this challenge together."
"I'm really sorry to hear that you're going through a tough time. You don't have to carry this burden alone."
"I want you to know that your well-being is important to me, and I'm here to support you in any way I can."
"It takes a lot of courage to open up about your feelings, and I admire your strength in doing so."
"Remember that it's okay to ask for help when you need it, and I'm here to lend a hand."
"I care about you deeply, and I'm committed to supporting you as you work through this."
"You are valued, loved, and important to me. Your well-being matters."
"I can see things are really hard for you right now."
"I'm sorry you're hurting."
Ask - Don't Assume
"How can I best support you through this?"
"What can I do to help?"
"Do you want advice, or do you just need me to listen?"
"How can I help to lighten the load for you?"
"Are there any activities you enjoy that we could do together to help take your mind off things?"
"What do you need most from me right now?"
"How can we work together to manage the challenges you're facing?"
"Can I help you book an appointment to talk to someone more about how you're feeling?"
“What do you think is a first step that would help you through this?”
"What do you think might help you feel better in the long term?"
"Is there anything you'd like me to communicate to others to help them understand what you're going through?"
"How have you been feeling lately?"
"Has anything changed since the last time we spoke? You've been on my mind."
"Is there anything specific that's been bothering you?"
"How have you been feeling since we last had a chat? I just wanted to check in."
"We talked before about getting some support from a counsellor. How did you go with that?" "I've been thinking about you. Are you okay, or is there anything you'd like to talk about?"
"Have things improved for you or are you still finding it tough right now? I'm here to listen."
"I wanted to remind you that I'm here for you and your feelings are important to me."
Conscious Connection Questions
Is there a way I can remind you that I care about you during difficult moments?
In what ways can I be a better partner to you when you're having a tough time?
Are you happy with the way in which we communicate with each other?
Are you happy with the way that we show up for each other?
When do you feel most supported by me?
3 things I really value about you are...
In moments when you feel angry, hurt, or upset, what do you need from me?
What does good support look/feel like to you?
Do you feel safe and comfortable in communicating your needs and feelings with me?
Are you comfortable coming to me with problems, or for help and support?
Is there anything I can change or do differently to help you feel more comfortable?
When you have a problem, do you prefer I offer help and solutions, or just listen?
If you are having a bad day, would you rather have space, or spend time together?
If you are going through a tough time, how would you like me to show up for you?
Something I really love about our relationship is...
What things do I do or say that help you feel supported, loved and appreciated?
Remember, if you or someone you love are struggling, there is help available. Support is available from the following organisations: (remember you can always call these free services for support and advice on what to do next). More resources: ruok.org.au/findhelp
Lifeline (24/7 ) 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service (24/7) 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue (24/7) 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline (24/7, for youth 5-25) 1800 55 1800
MensLine (24/7) 1300 78 99 78
For more tips on how to talk to your loved ones about mental health, visit https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask