How can I prevent mental health problems by building helping relationships

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It helps to have someone to talk to. In a helping relationship, two or more people make a commitment to get to know and understand each other. This can happen in any relationship—between friends, family members, or women who work together, or in a group that already meets for another purpose. Or a new group may form because the people share a common problem. These are often called ‘support groups’.

Even when two people know each other well, helping relationships develop slowly, because people usually hesitate to share their problems. It takes time to get over these worries and begin to trust one another.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en011513