• Jennifer Ryam

The importance of having a support system

Looking after our mental health has never been more important. With the high number of people working from home, isolation and loneliness has become a major problem for many people. Having a good support system in place is extremely important, and can drastically reduce isolation, depression and loneliness. A good support system can consist of friends, family members, colleagues or managers, neighbors or faith leaders. The most important thing is that you can trust the people in your support system.

Building a support system around your individual needs is a good idea. For example, for work related stress or issues it can be helpful for your go-to person/people to be familiar with what you are facing, so a colleague or manager could be a good fit. For personal issues such as financial, it might be helpful to have somebody who understands what your situation is, like a close friend or family member. That being said, some people tend to feel more comfortable talking about personal issues with a stranger, so don’t be afraid of using support networks such as charities and organisations as well. Your support system will be unique to you, and each individual’s will look different.

Here are just a few ways in which you can start to build and strengthen your support network:

  • Reach out and make time for your family

  • Have a regular check-in with your friends

  • Make use of technology with video calls

  • Ask what support is available through your workplace

  • Join a local support group or community centre

  • Ask your doctor or community outreach what support is available.

Having just a few people that you can turn to in a crisis or when you are feeling stressed or down, can be a great help. Whether it’s helping you find a solution to a problem, or just lending a sympathetic ear and listening to your problems, having that support can mean all the difference.

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