Check-In with a friend

Have you ever been worried about a friend but not sure what to say to them? Have you thought you might say the wrong thing but had no idea what the right thing might actually be? Have you ever wondered who to ask for help on what to say to the friend? Or how you could help them find the right kind of help? Apparently these are thoughts that lots of young people in Australia have, and it’s why BeyongBlue took donations from people and organisations within the community to help them develop a Check-In App for the smartphone.

The app will assist with:

  • developing a tailored, step-by-step ‘check-in’ plan
  • reviewing how the conversation went, and give ideas for what to do next, especially if things got tricky
  • setting reminders to follow up
  • providing links to professional support
  • providing words of wisdom from people who’ve done it before
  • giving ideas for how to look after yourself when supporting a friend.

The app itself has information in a variety of formats including quick tips, short testimonies from people in similar situations and links to support resources for immediate help and longer term options depending on the circumstances you find yourself in. You can click on those tips that you ‘like’ or find useful and when you flick through the list you can see those tips which others have found the most useful. The most popular tip when I was last on was the “what not to say” checklist. BeyondBlue are also keen to get your help in building the app so if there is a suggestion you have or an experience you want to share you can hit the suggest button and send them an e-mail for consideration.

In addition to this it also has a section that links to other useful apps and online services like the ReachOut.com SMS Tips and Smiling Mind. You can also use the app to send you reminders or to send you a tip every fortnight to build your skills in the friendship department.

What’s good about it: It helps you work out not only what to say to your friend who you are worried about but also what not to say!

What’s not so good about it: It doesn’t have any information about the different warning signs of mental health to help you decide if you think you should talk to your friend. So for someone who is unsure if they should say anything it doesn’t provide the reassurance about taking that step.

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