HaverCare Training

This past Monday, April 18th, a few members of Active Minds attended CAPS’s HaverCare Training, which detailed how we can better help our friends, family, and others. The CAPS advisors first talked about how stress, distress, and crisis are three unique but often overlapping aspects of mental health issues, with each increasing in severity. Then we discussed the components of “HAVER” in HaverCare:

H: Hear – telling your friend that you’re here to listen

A: Ask – asking open-ended questions, like “what are you thinking?”

V: Validate – clarifying what you’ve heard: “So what I’m hearing is . . .”

E: Explore – brainstorming next steps, listening, offering things to do, etc.

R: Refer – bring up other ways they could receive support

Some important points to consider include :

  1. Your own ability to help out in the current moment. Check in with yourself and make sure you’re available – it is okay to skip to “refer” if need be.
  2. Normalizing your friend’s experience can be a slippery slope. Sometimes it’s helpful to acknowledge that what they’re experiencing is normal – sometimes it may lead them to think that they’re not being listened to. Be sure to do this with caution.
  3. It might be helpful to ask “Can I check in on you on X day?” or “Can I share these resources with you?”
  4. It might also be helpful to say “Thank you for sharing that” after your friend confides in you so they can understand they’re not burdening you.
  5. Remember: sometimes people just want to be heard!

Need help yourself or are wondering where to refer your friend? Here are some broad resources that can offer support for a variety of scenarios:

  1. Customs Committees
  2. OAR
  3. ADS
  4. Advising dean
  5. Affinity groups
  6. CAPS
  7. GRASE Center

Remember to take care of yourself and your friends.


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