Student walking across campus outside Thesken Hall

How to Help a Friend

What Do You Do?

If you have concerns, please get help by contacting one of our Resources. If it is an emergency situation, call 911.

How to Help a Friend

Reach out

Let them know they are not alone in feeling this way and that it is ok to ask for help.

Start a conversation

  • “I’m worried about you because you seem…” (e.g., sad, isolated, etc)
  • Be specific about what you notice.  “It concerned me when you said…”
  • Ask calmly with open-ended questions and use I-statements

Offer to listen and listen without judgment.

  • “Do you want to talk about it?”
  • “What can I do to help?”

Connect them with campus resources

Refer them to the Student Counseling Services

Never be afraid to reach out to them to let them know you are concerned

  • Give your friend a call
  • Pay them a visit
  • Send them a message

Ask directly if they have thoughts of suicide

  • Asking does not plant the idea in someone’s head
  • Communicate verbally and nonverbally that it is safe to answer honestly
  • Ask if they have a plan, materials, and a timeline
  • By reaching out to a friend, you are not attempting to fix your friend’s problems, but to connect them to support services
  • Call 9-1-1 if your friend is in imminent danger of harming themselves
  • Know your limits and seek help for yourself

* Adapted from the “Help a Friend in Need” publication- The JED Foundation, Facebook, and Clinton Foundation