How to Help a Friend

It is difficult to watch a friend in distress; it can be even more difficult deciding what to do to help them.  If and when you find yourself in this situation, the Counseling Service offers brief consultations to help you better understand your concerns about your friend, the dynamics of the situation, community resources, and possible plans of action. The Counseling Service also offers more in-depth workshops for groups of students sharing common concerns.

Whether or not you choose to seek support from the Counseling Service in person, the following outline is offered to help you think about how to most effectively identify and engage with a friend in need of added support.

If you ever become concerned about a roommate, teammate, or friend, you may hesitate to do anything for fear of making things worse or simply because you don't know what to do. Below are some guidelines about what to do if and when that situation arises. We'll discuss what observable behaviors may signal concern, how to engage with a friend in distress, and how to connect both them and yourself with supportive resources on campus. In our experience, after having weathered a crisis, clients often identify a friend's genuine expressions of concern as having been pivotal in helping them to get the help that they needed.