• To identify what a system of support is
  • To be able to articulate why a system of support is helpful and important
  • To accurately identify steps to ask someone for help when necessary

Loneliness Infographic 5 min

  • Take a few minutes to look over the Loneliness Infographic. Break into groups to discuss or have a full-group discussion, using the processing questions below.

Processing Questions

  • Is this information surprising?
  • What does this say about the importance of social connections?
  • Do you agree?
  • Have you ever felt lonely? Did you think it felt similar to pain?
  • Are there risks to social isolation?

I’ve Got Your Back 10-12 min

  • Remember that a:  “Social system of support means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image.” (http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/social-support).
  • To play the “I’ve Got Your Back” Activity, students should split into pairs.
  • Each pair will have to stand back to back and complete the following series of tasks:
    • The first task is for each pair to sit down without their backs coming apart. Try this as many times as you like.
    • Starting in the sitting down, back-to-back position, each pair tries so stand back up with their back continuously trying. Try this a few times.
    • After trying task 2 a few times, add a third person. Continue activities 1 and 2 and add an additional person each round.
    • Use the following processing questions to discuss how large your “Social Support” system can become and still accomplish these tasks.

Processing Questions

  • Was it easier or harder to sit down and stand up when you added more people? Why do you think this was so?
  • Was there a point where you felt that your group got too big? Why or why not?
  • How do you think this activity shows the importance of a system of support?
  • When you were in pairs, did you and your partner have to talk?  Did you find it important  to share your thoughts and needs in order to find success?

How to Ask for Help speed dating 15 min

Have the class process in pairs:

  1. Do you typically reach out for help when you need it?
  2. Is it typically received well when you reach out for help?
  3. Are there things you don’t reach out about? If so, why?
  • Hand out the Getting Social Support in Six Steps page, with one copy for each student. 
  • Have each student come up with one problem they could use help with. If they cannot think of one, allow them to make one up.
  • In pairs, students have three minutes to help each other come up with answers for the first question of the worksheet: “Who are my most important social connections right now?”
  • Instruct students to switch partners. Students are given three minutes to help each other answer #2 on the worksheet: “What do I want?
  • Instruct students to switch partners. Allow them three minutes to help each other with #3 on the worksheet: “Who they would ask to help with their problem?
  • Instruct students to switch partners. Allow them three minutes to help each other work on #4 on the the worksheet: Finding the right time and place to ask for help. 
  • Instruct students to switch partners. Allow them three minutes to help each other answer #5 on the worksheet: Coming up with “I” statements to ask for support.As a group, discuss the following reflection questions:
    1. Do you feel sufficiently prepared to ask for help after this activity?
    2. Was it helpful creating a plan with other people? Did your partners have ideas that you would not have thought of?
    3. What things worked well in helping your partner plan to ask for help?

Works Cited