How to Help a Friend

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

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.