conversations can be life changing

The words “I’m Here For You” can mean so much to someone who’s having a hard time

It can be challenging to know exactly what to say when someone tells you they are stressed, having a difficult day, are in pain, or have a mental health need. For many people, feeling supported is just what they need.

Active Minds suggests an approach that includes 3 V-A-R Steps so you’ll know what to say and do in those moments. A conversation that includes the elements of Validate-Appreciate-Refer is one that allows you to actively listen to someone you care about and help them cope. A conversation with you could make all the difference and prevent a crisis from developing later.

With V-A-R, Active Minds lets everyone know that someone doesn’t need to be in a crisis to seek help; you don’t have to be an expert to provide help; and help can come in many different forms. Being there for someone in a moment of need is what it’s all about.

It can be as simple as saying, “I believe you,” and “I’m here for you.”

what to expect when offering help

Everyone’s mental health and recovery journey is different. But there are some things you might encounter while you support a friend or family member.

Learn More

Three easy steps

Sometimes people want to reach out and help when they notice someone is having a hard time, but are unsure what to say or do.

Just follow three easy steps: Validate, Appreciate Refer. V-A-R is Active Minds’ guide on how to listen, respond, and help someone cope. You don’t need to be an expert to help, you just need to be there.

Learn V-A-R

Alison Malmon

Lindsey Morgan

Ignacio Serricchio

Courtney Burke

Mental Health America

Becky Fein

If you are worried someone may be considering suicide, find support immediately by texting “BRAVE” to 741-741. Stay with them until they are safe.

Our sincere thanks to Abigail Brown for designing the awesome Courage font for this project and to Proof Strategies for promotional assistance.