Our support networks are made up of the people around us that we feel connected to, who have similar interests, who we trust and feel comfortable talking to.
What is a support network?
A support network is a group of people who we can trust to help us when we need it. The people in the support network strongly guide our behaviour by listening and giving advice, showing us how to behave and providing emotional and practical help. Support networks are important for your well-being and can include people from a variety of backgrounds and interests.
People within your support network will include people close to you such as family, friends or classmates, coaches or teammates, and other people within the community. Support networks will also include people that are in positions of authority, such as teachers, doctors, counsellors or the police.
Sometimes our support network changes because there are changes in our lives. We can become connected to more people through changes such as a new school; new interests, sports or hobbies; moving to a new area; spending more time with different people we know; or meeting new people through friends or family.
What makes a good support network?
Having a support network made up of a wide variety of different people gives us more options when we need support. Talking to different people can help to see problems in a number of different ways, so we get a better picture of a situation. It also allows us to get help from the best people possible depending on the situation. Different people can provide different types and levels of support. Our support network provides a place for us to seek help in a safe, supportive environment.
It’s important to build the right support network, as it influences the choices we make, the actions we take and the thoughts we have!
How can I be a good support network person?
You can also be part of the support network of other people that you know and care about, such as your friends and family. A good support person will be:
- easy to get access to
- honest and trustworthy
- a good listener, and
- someone who has time for you.