If you have a friend or a loved one who suffered from a serious car accident and is dealing with the injuries and the aftermath, it is only natural to wonder how you can be a good friend, and provide them with the type of support they need. Unless you are a car accident attorney and want to give them legal support, the type of help and support that you can offer them is less about legal assistance and more about emotional support.
After a car accident or any type of personal injury, there is a real risk that the victim can slip into a depression that can be difficult to come out of and even hinder their physical recovery. As a friend, one of the best things that you can do is to offer them emotional support and a safe place to land when they are feeling low. There are many different ways that you can do this, which may vary depending on the specific personality of your friend and the type of relationship that you have, but the following are a few examples that can help you recognize some good ways to show up as a friend.
Hang Out At Their House
This might seem like a fairly obvious way to help your friend after their accident, but it can go a long way. In the days and weeks after a serious injury, your friend may be dealing with a lot of overwhelming emotions as they come to terms with their situation and tries to understand how to move forward with their life.
Just going to their house to watch Netflix, cook a meal, or even sitting and listening can help to take an enormous emotional weight off of your friend. In addition to helping them with these stressors, it is always very nice to remember that people are thinking of you when you are sick or injured and can help to avoid serious depression or despondency.
Offer Specific Help
After a tragedy or accident, everyone is going to say “please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” While this seems like a comforting thing to offer and a good way to show support, your friend will likely feel overwhelmed with all of the things that they need to do, and will really struggle with figuring out how to ask for help. This is where you come in.
By offering specific help, you are turning a very open-ended offer into a yes/no question, reducing a lot of the issues that your friend may be struggling with. Something as simple as “I will come over on Wednesday and help you make dinner,” or “I will do your grocery shopping this week if you would like” take a lot of the burden off of your friend, who would probably love to have their shopping taken care of, but feels uncomfortable to ask. In fact, they may not have even realized that this was something they would like help with.
Check With Them Often
A quick phone call, FaceTime, or text message can go a long way when someone is feeling hopeless and alone. By reminding your friend that you are thinking of them, whether or not you show up to their house every day, it can really help their emotional health and remind them that there are people who love them and care for them. This is a simple act but can play a major difference in keeping your friend from slipping into a depression.
Even more importantly, this will allow you to keep tabs on your friends emotional and psychological health. If you notice that they are growing increasingly agitated, despondent, or having other negative emotional shifts, you will be able to help them address them sooner. This is very important for them, and you can help to steer them towards getting the professional help that they need.