If you’ve noticed a friend is acting different and you’re worried, it can be confusing to figure out what to do. While it’s important to attend to your friend, it’s also critical to notice how you’re feeling in response to everything that’s going on. Holding someone else’s secret, feeling helpless when someone you care about is hurting, and feeling confused when your friend pushes you away when you’re just trying to help can add another layer to an already stressful situation.
If a friend calls you in a crisis and asks for your help, you don’t have to handle this on your own. If you don’t want to involve anyone you know, please call Teen Link or your local 24-Hour Crisis Line to get the support you need. Check out some of the information below, and if you have more specific questions you can call Teen Link.
Just noticing that someone is struggling is the first step to being a good friend. You don’t have to have all the answers, but reaching out to someone to let them know you’re concerned can be a huge relief. Going through tough times alone is often the hardest part.
If your friend is talking about hurting themself or they are talking about suicide, you should:
Asking someone if they are thinking of suicide will not put the idea in someone’s head. Research actually shows the opposite. People are often relieved to have someone willing to talk about what they’re going through. While you want to help with their problem, sometimes the best thing is just to do your regular thing. When you’re going through hard times, having a friend invite you to go to the gym, see a movie, or go get dinner can be calming and comforting while the storm blows over.
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