FOUR KEY THINGS THAT CAN DO WHEN YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SOMEONE
LOOK out for the signs
Sometimes it can be hard to know if your friend is going through a rough patch or whether there might be something more serious going on like anxiety or depression.
You might notice that they are not hanging out with their friends as much anymore or are always tired and feeling down. They might be snappier or perhaps look a mess.
When you notice these changes, check in with your friend to see if they’re OK.
LISTEN to your friend’s experiences
Sitting and quietly listening is the next step. Don’t rush to offer advice. Let them know you are there for them and that you want to help where you can. If they don’t want to talk about it, respect that. Let them know you are worried and that you are happy to listen when they want to talk, or suggest other people. By listening and responding in a non-judgmental and reassuring manner, you are helping in a major way.
TALK about what’s going on
Knowing what to say can sometimes be difficult. You might not be sure how to start a conversation with them, or you might be worried about saying the wrong thing. You could say things like “I’ve noticed that you seem a bit down lately”, or perhaps, “You seem like you are really down, and not yourself, I really want to help you. Is there anything I can do?” Showing that you are willing to listen to what is going on can be really supportive for your friend. You don’t need to have all the answers.
SEEK help together
Encourage your friend to get some support. They might want to start by talking with their family about has been going on or they may prefer to talk with someone that they do not know, like a doctor or health professional. You could help them to find and arrange an appointment with a health professional; you might even offer to go with them to their first appointment to help them feel more relaxed about it. If they don’t feel comfortable with the first health professional, then you could help them find another.
Adapted from www.youthbeyondblue.com.au