5 Questions to Ask Someone Who is Struggling

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Axiom Medical, Depression, Emotional Distress, Tempo Live, Workplace Mental Health

While you may realize someone is struggling, you may not know what you can do to help. Mental health is a challenging topic, and you may even hesitate to approach them. However, there are questions you can ask which will let them know they don’t have to be alone in their struggles. Here are the 5 questions to ask someone who is struggling.

Questions to Ask Someone Who is Struggling?

1. How are you doing?

A “How are you?” type of question usually results in a short response such as “I’m fine, how about you?” Expanding on that slightly to center the focus on them may help, such as “How are things going with you these days?”

If they give you short answers, try following up with “Seriously, how are you doing?” This lets them know you care. You don’t want to pry, so if they don’t answer or shrug the question off, let them.

2. Is there something you would like to talk about?

Acknowledging that something is troubling them is a difficult step, so knowing you provide a safe space for them to speak is essential.

This type of open-ended question can take the conversation deeper if they are open to it. Even if they don’t answer, they know you at least asked and may come to you in the future ready to share more.

3. How are you sleeping?

Instead of revealing emotional upheavals or struggles, a person might respond better to physical clues. Asking if they have been getting enough sleep is one way to approach this and get them talking.

They may respond that they’re not sleeping much. Ask about why or if they’ve considered talking with their doctor to find a way to remedy this.

4. Can I do anything for you?

Mental health issues can interfere with normal functioning. If someone is struggling, ask if you can help them with something. Offer to pick up groceries or recommend a workout class to take together.

They may not know how you can help, so look around for things they might need.

5. Can I help you find someone to talk to about whatever you’re struggling with?

If they start to talk but then give up, you may want to ask if you can help them find someone to talk to who might be able to help.

While they may be too embarrassed to seek a therapist’s help, assuring them it is perfectly normal and acceptable may put them at ease.

Also, make regular follow-ups without being overly intrusive in their lives. If you notice any aggravation signs or see them descend further into silence, back off for a while and try another day again.

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