Have you been checking in with those you care for? All it takes to start the conversation is a ‘hi’.
It may not always be obvious when someone you care for is going through a tough time.
Which is why, all of us play an important role in reaching out and giving them the support and comfort they need. All it takes to start the conversation is a 'hi’.
Want to help - but not sure how?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
These tips are designed to help you navigate these conversations with empathy and care.
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Look out for the following:
Do they seem
Are they going through
If you think you are not ready, ask someone else whom you think can reach out.
Break the ice
Let them know why you're having that chat with them.
Start with something like:
Show you care
Let them know you're there for them and want to help.
Ask open-ended questions
Ask them questions that can't be answered with a simple yes/no. This will encourage them to open up and share more.
Avoid questions like:
Ask questions like:
It may be good to hold out on giving advice or solutions. Instead, give them the space to express how they feel.
Show them you understand
Show them you understand their point-of-view. This can help validate their feelings, which will encourage them to share more.
Use verbal cues:
Paraphrase their thoughts back to them:
Be mindful of your body language
Pay attention to your body language too. By positioning yourself the right way, you can encourage them to trust you and open up.
Don't be afraid of silence
There will be silences during such chats - accept them as part of your conversation.
What can silence mean?
At times, we may think we know how they feel or what they should do. But, imposing our point-of-view on them will only make them feel unvalued and misunderstood.
Bring no expectations
What if they're just not ready to have the chat? That's okay. Be patient and continue to show support.
What should you do if this happens:
Find other tips:
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Stay in Touch
Stay in Touch
“It was good to catch up today and I look forward to getting in touch again.”
Remind yourself to follow up with them for a check-in.
Some conversations may be too big for you to take on alone. If you notice someone who is feeling really low for more than two weeks or seems to be at-risk, encourage them to seek professional help as soon as they can.
If you know someone who is feeling weighed down by issues and needs emotional or psychological support, encourage them to reach out to the different avenues below:
Speak to someone on the phone:
Consult with someone online:
So, you’ve gone through all the tips and feel like you’re ready for the conversation? Put your skills to the test with this quick rehearsal!
1 of 5
Mr. C has been looking unusually stressed of late. What should Mr. P ask him to encourage him to open up?
Hi Mr. C, how have you been feeling?
Hi Mr. C, are you feeling okay?
Asking open-ended questions encourage others to say what's on their mind.
Try asking open-ended questions instead of yes/no question to encourage others to open up.
2 of 5
Mr. C is beginning to open up about his stress at work. How should
Mr. P respond?
I understand this must be tough for you.
If I were you, I'd have done it differently.
Empathising when someone's sharing their feelings helps them feel valued and understood.
Rather than imposing your point-of-view on others, try to empathise with them to make them feel valued and understood.
3 of 5
It’s a stop-start conversation with a lot of silences. What should Mr. P do?
Keep prompting Mr. C to get a response.
Wait and let Mr. C take his time to speak.
Silences will be a part of such conversations. It’s better to give them the time they need to gather their thoughts or rein in their emotions.
It’s important to recognise and accept that silences will be a part of such conversations. Try to give them the time they need to gather their thoughts or rein in their emotions.
4 of 5
If Mr. C chooses to stay silent and not speak about his problems, what should Mr. P say?
I know you’re struggling. But I can’t help you if you don’t open up.
Take your time - we can speak when you feel ready.
Let them know you're there for them if and when they are ready to speak.
If they're not ready for the conversation, give them the time they need to open up.
5 of 5
How should Mr. P end the chat?
I’m glad we had this chat. Is it okay if I call you again?
I’m glad we had this chat.
It’s a good idea to follow up to check in on them again.
It’s a better idea to follow up to check in on them again.
If you know someone who may be going through a rough patch, check in with them to see if they’re doing okay. After all, all it takes to start the conversation is a ‘hi’.
Thinking of checking in with someone you care for? These tools, resources, chat stickers and useful links will help you prepare for and manage the conversation with ease.
Spotify Relaxation Clips
mindline.sg Self-Care Tools
Temasek Foundation Mental Health Resources
Belle, the Chatbot
Make your check-in sessions a little more delightful with our partners’ promotions!
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Join us on an experiential journey to learn more #JustCheckingIn tips. Play a fun game that will put your skills to the test and customise cute
e-greetings to check in with those you care for!
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