Have you ever needed someone to rely on, but they were not there for you when you needed them the most? Have you ever felt alone and just wanted to talk to someone about your life? Have you been in situations with people that you felt were harmful or could have caused you harm? If you said yes to any of these questions; it’s time to think about building a healthy support system where you can be able to lean on them when you need it the most. There are a few easy steps you can take to make this a reality.

1.) Learn more about yourself and what you are looking for in a person or people that can be a healthy support system. Write down a list of what healthy actions and not healthy actions looks like to you. For example, if your support system comes over when you’re depressed and comforts by asking “what you need, how can I help you”? Is that healthy? Or what if your support system comes over when you’re depressed and says “Get over it, get up!”?  Think about the two different scenarios and analyze which one you would want as a healthy support system that would be able to help you cope properly. If you are unsure as to what your needs are, you can always talk it over with a professional.

2.) Now it’s time to find a support system. There are many options, such as social media, going to the gym, volunteering, or even at work. Social media is the easiest to meet people and a positive side about it is there are groups within these social media websites you can join and be apart, of which can also build friendships and support. So, try to look up groups on Facebook or Instagram to see your choices.  If you go to the gym that’s a great place to find encouragement while getting a great workout in. Volunteering gives you a perfect opportunity to meet people from all over the world that work together for a cause. Last but not least you can find a support system at work. You’re going to have to understand boundaries between work and your personal life, but there will be some people who can be there for you in both your work and personal life.

3.) Find safe hangout spots. Don’t meet at your house on the first meetup because you don’t know if this person will be trustworthy off the bat. Meet in public places such as the park, mall, library, restaurant/coffee shop, etc. When you find a place schedule a time and get to know each other. Make sure you voice your needs and wants about having a healthy support system and what that requires; almost like you’re interviewing them. Once you voice what you need hopefully you can meet up again and you will eventually gain their trust which will evolve into them being your support system when needed.

In conclusion, learning more about yourself, searching for people to be a support and finding a place to meet up will help achieve your goal in getting a supportive team. This will take time, but with patience it will come. Just remember you are not alone.

Guest Blogger: Golda Duncan, Public Ally

Golda is a second year AmeriCorps Public Allies Apprentice, interning for MHA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a passion for the mental health community and wants to make a change.