At some point, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to be a direct helper or enlist someone else. If you do get involved, is it going to be something that’s sustained and ongoing – or just in the immediate future? Are you skilled in the right areas? Do you have the time to make this kind of commitment or do you already have life overflow yourself? Are you emotionally resilient enough or would a professional be a better fit?
Even if you feel like you can’t take everything on, there may be some genuinely caring ways you can be supportive. You could offer to do some research and then provide them with some articles or find a counsellor who specialises in a space that’s relevant to the situation. You could even offer to attend a GP appointment with the person who needs help, if appropriate.
If it’s a situation that’s arisen at the workplace or school, you could offer to get the person home or to a safe space, or suggest sitting with them and a manager as a neutral party. In a family or work structure there are clear chains of command that need to be respected, so don’t step in if you don’t feel comfortable. Instead, explore options that are available within a work or school environment, such as the HR department, employee assistance programmes, student services or a counsellor.