MCC Daily Tribune

Supporting Others During COVID-19 and Beyond

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is presenting unique challenges as we navigate through this uncharted territory. Our daily routines have been disrupted which can create added stress - physically, mentally, and financially. Finding new ways to interact while also taking care of our mental health and well-being is more important than ever. Keep in mind that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Virtual communication can help you and the people you care about feel less lonely and isolated. Text messages, emails, and video chats are just some ways we can continue to support one another. It is the connections we make with other people that enrich our lives. Below are some ways to increase support of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life challenges.

  • Practice active listening. Active listening is different from just hearing what a person has to say. A good active listener focuses completely on the person speaking, understanding their message, comprehending the information, and responding thoughtfully. Active listeners ask open-ended questions to get more details about the topic, as well as, taking moments throughout the conversation to summarize what they've been told, and make sure they are understanding clearly.


  • Ask what you can do. It is always better to ask someone who is struggling what they need from you, instead of making assumptions about what they need. If the person replies with a response like, "nothing, I'm fine," offer up a couple of suggestions for things you would be willing to do (without being pushy).


  • Don't compare. If someone is going through a tough situation and they come to you for support, it might feel tempting to tell them about something that happened to you, and how you were able to get through it. It's certainly okay to share about similar experiences, but be careful not to make comparisons. It can make someone feel like their pain is not valid.


  • Listen. To be truly supportive of someone, personal opinions and biases need to be put aside. You may have an opinion on the way someone is reacting to a situation, but you never truly know what it is like to be that person in that moment. Try to avoid judging someone based on their current situation. Rather, consider ways you can understand their situation and be supportive.


  • Keep your word. If you offer your support to someone and told them you would do something, keep your word. This is especially important for a person who is struggling. The last thing they need is to feel abandoned by someone else. If you absolutely can't honor your promise, make a sincere apology and find another time you can do what you said you would.


  • Offer information. Sometimes the support you can offer won't be enough. Don't be afraid to encourage someone to seek help. Provide them with information and resources for additional support; including self- help strategies and professional help.


The Counseling Center and Disability Services office is here for you during this time. Be well, stay safe, and please reach out to us if you are in need of additional support.

With warm regards,

Counseling Center & Disability Services Team

Phone: (585) 292-2140 *Press 1 for Disability & Press 2 for Counseling

Email: &



Lee, Stephanie
Counseling Center & Disability Services