Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Who's in Your Emotional Support System?

During our intake with a new client one of the questions we ask is: "Who's supportive to you?" (in so many words to someone's mental health well being). Answers range from God to a friend or relative's name to 'no one'. A questions closely follows that asks for the new client's emergency contact. An uncomfortable question if a person had just answered 'no one.'

I'll be honest and say it's hard for me to imagine what it's like for a person to feel like she's alone to the point has no support from family or friends. I understand and have felt loneliness but it's extremely hard for me to fully appreciate the feelings of isolation that a number of my clients feel.

Some of my clients are loners and relish in that. Humans tend to be social but not all people are. On the other hand, I've met with clients who I see struggle with their interest in reaching out and befriending other people and the challenges they face in doing that. On another note, I've written before that for several of our clients Empoder is a community and that for them other clients and staff make up their network of support.

I understand better the difficulty in making new friendships post graduation from college. The pool of people your age that is easily found on campus no longer surrounds me. Friends move around, sometimes to other cities, and cool coworkers move. Friendships need a bit more effort to upkeep when people are spread out. It has been challenging.

For some reason the need people have for one another fascinates me (and this probably has to do with how I see myself relating to other people).


Random Ramblings said...

I wrote about something similar on my blog. I have found though that a lot of people I work with, actually don't see the value many of their natural supports, especially family provide.

Btrflygl said...

LOL. I must've signed in with my old blog account. Oopsie!

Anatolia said...

Heh! I was going to message you and ask for your new blog address too. ;)