Two friends reuniting after a long time after the quarantine

13 ways to check in on strong friends’ mental health

We’re on week no. two of our Check-in Challenge, our month-long effort to check in on the mental health of people in our world to ask how they are doing – and really listen!

This week, we’re going to check in on our strong friends, the people in your life you might look to for strength. But while they’re strong for others, who is checking on them? Here are some ways to do just that:

  1. Acknowledge that your friend is a support for you and for others. Say, “I see you and all you do for me and for others.”
  2. Express your gratitude for the way your strong friend enhances your life. Gratitude has been shown to combat feelings of loneliness. It’s not only good for your friend, but it’s good for you.
  3. Ask, “How are you feeling today, really? Physically and mentally.”
  4. Text, email or leave a voicemail like, “No need to respond, but I just wanted to say hi!”
  5. Ask, “What’s keeping you going right now?”
  6. Ask, “Would you like to talk? I’m here to listen.”
  7. Text or email a meme, an old photo of the two of you or an article they might like and say, “This made me think of you. How have you been?”
  8. Say, “Like you are here for others, I’m here for you.”
  9. Ask, “What’s something you’re looking forward to in the next few days?”
  10. Say, “I’m available to chat at these times. When are you around?”
  11. Designate a “need help” emoji. Pick an emoji that you can both use when you need uplifting or the other’s help. Maybe it’s a parachute or a colored heart. One suggestion is green, which represents mental health awareness.
  12. Instead of asking how they are, try asking, “What did you do today that made you feel good, proud or happy?” It is usually the little things that brighten our day or made us proud. Sharing these small joys or victories can open someone up one step at a time.
  13. Ask, “What’s something that we could do together this week, even if we are apart?” If you need suggestions, these are all COVID-safe:
  • Virtual trivia nights
  • Group movie or television streaming screenings
  • Virtual fitness classes or meditations
  • TikTok face-offs
  • Crafting online tutorials
  • Instagram story games
  • Virtual paint night
  • Virtual coffee, lunch and dinner “meet ups”
  • Group check-ins

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