A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a nonprofit here in the Phoenix area that serves the Native American community. They provide support to fathers and mothers who often did not have good role models while growing up. I met some incredible examples of overcoming their environment to be strong advocates and mentors for members of their community.

I shared pieces of Ashley’s story and spoke about the importance of support systems in relation to mental health and suicide prevention. Over the last week or so, I’ve had more time to reflect on the importance of support systems in my life. I think when we hear the term ‘support’ we often think it has to include grand gestures. It does not. Think about the people who supported you throughout your life- during the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I guarantee some of those did something they thought was insignificant, but to you- it meant everything.

These are individuals to whom you can share anything- without judgment. These are also the ones who you trust to be completely honest with you when you need advice. The circle of trust often includes friends, family, and for me, God.

I share this because YOU are part of someone’s CIRCLE of TRUST. This can be exhilarating and at times difficult. If you are unsure how to support someone in crisis, ASK THEM. Talk to them about it. If they just need to you listen- LISTEN. If they need a should to cry on, get close, and LET THEM CRY. If they need someone to be the decision-maker- do it without hesitation. If they need something as simple as a pint ice cream- buy them the ice cream. Being someone’s support says something about YOU- it says that you are the kind of person this world needs, and I want to personally THANK YOU.