Support Systems

We all need a support system in our lives, and now is a great time to assess who we can turn to when we need support. 

Some advantages of having a strong support system include: a sense of belonging, reduced stress, and improved self-esteem. One very important benefit of a support system is emotional support. Dr. Debra O’Shea states, “An emotional support system is very important as good emotional health and wellbeing can increase overall physical health.  A strong support system is pertinent to good emotional health as it gives us a community of support during the trying times.”

Johns Hopkins community health describes a support system as:

The persons, agencies, and organizations with which a caregiver has contact – directly or indirectly – are referred to as a person’s social support system. Social support may be provided in the form of:

  • Physical or practical assistance (e.g., transportation, assistance with chores)
  • Resource and information sharing (i.e., information on community resources)
  • Emotional and physiological assistance (i.e., someone who listens to and encourages you)
  • Attitude transmission (i.e., someone who helps you laugh or see things more positively)

Who is in your support system? 

Someone—such as a parent, family member, teacher, faith leader, health care provider, or other trusted individual, who:

  • Gives good advice when you want and ask for it
  • Assists you in taking action that will help
  • Likes, respects, and trusts you and who you like, respect, and trust, too
  • Allows you the space to change, grow, make decisions, and even make mistakes
  • Listens to you and shares with you, both the good and bad times
  • Respects your need for confidentiality so you can tell him or her anything
  • Lets you freely express your feelings and emotions without judging, teasing, or criticizing
  • Works with you to figure out what to do the next time a difficult situation comes up
  • Has your best interest in mind

Try This

Create artwork that represents your Support System Universe using whatever art materials you have on hand.

  1. Create a symbol of yourself in the center - you are the center of this universe
  2. Think of 5 individuals that fit the criteria of a support person
  3. Create a symbol for each of the 5 people and draw them in the orbit around you. They may be close or far from you geographically or emotionally. 
  4. Reflect on these people - do you find support from each of them for the same issues or different issues? Has your support system changed over the years? Do you need support in certain areas of your life that these 5 people do not currently fill?

Connect with us:

The C.A.R.E. Program team would love to connect with you! 


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