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24 April 2020

How to identify and maintain your support network

What is a support network? There are probably already people in your life that you can turn to if you need guidance and support. They could be family, friends or colleagues. You might even be speaking to a counsellor or getting some tutoring. No matter how resilient and motivated you are, you’ve probably reached out to these people when you’ve faced a challenge.

It’s important to put some care and attention back into our support networks. Try our tips on how to maintain your support network and see if any of them work for you.

Connect with family, friends and colleagues

Think about the people in your life that you often reach out to in times of stress. This is the core of your support network. If you can’t easily list these people off the top of your head, try scrolling through your texts and direct messages and see who you contact most often.

Once you’ve identified the people in your support network, try to get in contact with all of them and ask how they are. A support network isn’t a one-way street and by offering support you’ll be strengthening your ties with the people who help you the most.

Try and think of how you can reach out from home. You could have a coffee over Zoom chat, start a group chat with your network and post some inspirational articles, or even start a group on Facebook or a Microsoft Teams channel to keep in touch. You’d also be surprised how much people appreciate a quick text message.

Reach out to other students

If you’re looking to build or expand your support network you should try and connect with your fellow students.

While you can stay in touch with other Deakin students via unit discussion boards, the [email protected] Facebook group offers a more casual space to meet and stay connected with your university peers while we’re all studying from home. Join and check in on the [email protected] group to find plenty of study tips and to ask any questions you might have about studying online.

You can also follow Deakin Life on Facebook or Instagram, or join any of the following Facebook groups that are relevant to you:

Deakin’s existing Cloud Campus students are also encouraged to join Deakin Buddies, a web tool you can use to search for other Deakin students who are also interested in making a connection. You can search for students who live in your area, study the same units or who are enrolled in the same course.

Explore Deakin resources

You can always ask your Unit Chair if you need guidance with your studies. Remember, when you email your Unit Chair or post a question in the discussion forums, you should allow a few days for a response.   

The DUSA Student Advocacy & Support Service (SASS) is for any student whether they’re a member of DUSA or not. Advocates can offer you confidential advice and support on a wide range of issues. To schedule an appointment, complete the Advocacy appointment booking form.

You can also speak to a Deakin Counsellor with a phone appointment. Our counsellors are highly skilled psychologists and social workers who will listen to your concerns and discuss the best way for you to handle your situation.

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