Talking to a friend about their behavior can be difficult, but you should not assume that the problem will go away on its own, or that your friend can just “snap out of it.” If you feel like you are seeing warning signs that they can’t or don’t want to acknowledge, express to your friend that lately they’ve been behaving in ways that worry you. When talking, try to listen to your friend with compassion and ask open-ended questions about their feelings. To avoid your friend getting defensive or angry try to not judge, get upset, or make accusations.
Ways to start the conversation
- I wanted to check in with you because I have been feeling concerned about you lately
- Recently, I have noticed some difference in you and wondered how you are doing
- You are not alone in this. I am here for you
- How can I best support you right now?
- Have you thought about getting help?
- I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help
- You are important to me
Encourage your friend to get help
You can’t force your friend into action, but offering your encouragement and help in seeking treatment can make a big difference.
If you or someone you know needs help immediately, please contact Student Counseling Services at 773-702-9800, call 9-1-1 or dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK