People experiencing tough times report they feel better if they have the support of family and friends. Your informal support networks are the personal ties you have with others. Friends, relatives and other people you turn to for comfort, advice or help are your “support system.”
Your informal support network helps in many ways. For example, a support person:
To help you identify your support network, answer the following questions. Write in the names of people who give you support:
The people you named for each of these questions are an important part of your life. You depend on them. They form your informal support network. In turn, you also give them support.
As you look over the people you named, ask yourself these questions:
Part of your daily goal should be making friendships that will add to your support network. This process is like making a patchwork quilt; a variety of different pieces are added over the years. Sometimes an unusual piece adds some special quality that you had not expected. Sometimes you may need to patch over places where the material has faded or worn thin.
Supportive friendships often come about indirectly from working and socializing with others. In order for this to occur, it is often necessary to first reach out to others by:
Your support system may help you through the stress of a personal financial crisis. By reaching out to others and taking advantage of their support and friendship, you can gain strength to deal with your problems and an ability to take control of your situation.
In addition to your personal support network, you can use community agencies for support. See Community Agencies That Can Help for community services that are available.