V-A-R training is offered through Active Minds at Kent State University. It’s about showing up for one another in our everyday struggles. V-A-R stands for validate, appreciate, and refer. This is Active Minds' everyday guide for everyday challenges. The steps are easy-to-understand, easy-to-do, and easy-to-remember. They provide a guide to listening and responding in a helpful way. V-A-R conversations can take many forms — phone, in-person, text message, Facetime. The medium doesn’t matter as much as the message that you care.

A conversation can be life changing. For many people, feeling supported is just what they need.

It can be challenging, though, to know exactly what to say when someone tells you they are stressed, having a difficult day, or are in pain or have a mental health need. V-A-R teaches you what to say and do in those moments. A conversation that includes the elements of Validate, Appreciate, Refer is one that allows you to actively listen to someone you care about and help them cope. A conversation with you could make all the difference and prevent a crisis from developing later.

With V-A-R, Active Minds lets everyone know that someone doesn’t need to be in a crisis to seek help; you don’t have to be an expert to provide help; and help can come in many different forms. Being there for someone in a moment of need is what it’s all about.

For more information, visit Active Minds' website.

Photo from Active Minds website that says You don't need to be an expert to help. You just need to be there.

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