Friends are often the first contact when students are looking for help. It can be difficult to know how to support a friend when we aren’t sure how to respond. Often we worry that we might make things worse by saying or doing the wrong thing.
Sometimes a friend just needs someone to listen and other times it is important to recognize when a situation is beyond your level of expertise.
If a friend or classmate is acting in ways that may be harmful to themselves or others, or that they may be in emotional crisis, get help now and enlist a professional to assist with the situation.
Workshops and Resources
If you’re looking to learn more the Supporting a Friend Workshop is facilitated by fellow students who understand how tough it can be to have these conversations.
You can Learn the Basics of Supporting a Friend in this 4-step overview.
There is also a Supporting a Friend (pdf, 233KB) folder for students to use if you find yourself trying to support a friend and you are unsure of what to do. This will help you recognize the varying levels of distress, respond to your friend, and refer them to any of the resources at your disposal.
You can also check out our Resource Finder page for a brief list of Campus, Community, and Phone resources that may be helpful in guiding the person who needs help.