Social Support & Coping

Social Support & Coping

  • Social support is not only about providing an individual with practical assistance, but also consists of interactions and relationships that are felt to be caring, comforting and readily available in times of need.
  • It might be provided by anyone within a person’s social network: friends, relatives, individuals in the community as well as staff or volunteers working in the public sector.
  • There are positive things people can do to help themselves to recover. They may try to reduce stress by problem solving, or they can adapt to the stress by accepting it. This type of positive coping should be encouraged.
  • People sometimes behave in ways that are less helpful such as avoiding or denying their problems. Denial may help people to cope in the short-term, but it is not a helpful long-term way of coping.
  • Worrying excessively about events can increase suffering in the longer-term. People who show persistent denial or worrying should be signposted to assessment by healthcare agencies. However, no-one should be forced to talk or access help if they are not ready to.


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