Helping someone through a crisis

If you are concerned about someone you know:


  • Spend time with them
  • Listen carefully
  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings
  • Be willing to say nothing and just be there
  • Give them space and some private time
  • Do your best to ensure they are safe
  • Understand that they will have their own pace of coping and healing
  • Don't take their anger or other feelings personally

What to say

  • Tell them you are sorry that this event happened and you want to understand and help them
  • Reassure them that their reactions are normal in the circumstances
  • Remember that this is about their feelings, not yours
  • Don't assume one gender will handle things better than the other
  • Don't tell them you know how they feel
  • Don't impose your explanation or judgement of the situation
  • Don't tell them they are lucky it wasn't worse

Other support

  • Offer moral support if they have to attend any meetings or court hearings
  • If their symptoms are severe or long-lasting, you might suggest that they see a doctor or a counsellor
  • Offer to help with practical tasks like cleaning, cooking, minding children or pets
  • Trust your instincts if you sense they might be a harm to themself or others and make sure you connect with someone who can help
  • You might need counselling yourself to help you deal with the reactions of a loved one in a crisis situation


MoodMission is a free app aimed at improving wellbeing by helping users learn better ways of coping with low moods and anxious feelings