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Just ask. Just listen.

Just ask. Just listen has been developed to provide information for family/whānau and friends of people experiencing mental distress (also known as mental illness).

Here you’ll find tips to help you support someone experiencing mental distress, information on making sense of your beliefs and suggestions about what you can do. 

Everyone’s experience is different. It can be a tough time for all involved. When someone is feeling out of sorts, striking up a conversation can seem awkward. We believe the best place to start is to keep it simple. Just ask, “Are you ok?”, then whakarongo/listen to their answer.

Don’t rush in with your opinion or suggestions. Let them lead the way. By doing this, you can foster a relationship based on respect. They will feel heard and in control of the kōrero/conversation.

Tips on how to tautoko/support someone experiencing mental distress

Just ask, just listen.

You don’t need to know all the answers. Just start the kōrero/conversation. “I’ve noticed you’re not yourself lately” can be a good opener. Read more...

Name calling doesn't help.

Mental distress can be tough, and calling them names just adds to it. Talk to the person, not about them. Read more...

Talking about it can feel awkward. Do it anyway

Have hope – people can and do recover. Remember you don’t have to fix someone – just be there for them. Read more...

Don’t leave them out.

Keep inviting someone along. If they say no, don’t take it personally. Let them decide how and when they’d like to join in. Read more...