If you have a friend who’s dealing with a mental health concern, this section may help you to better support them.
People don’t only need friends to talk about their problems with, they also need friends that can make their lives fun and enjoyable.
Don't Give Up on the Friendship!
Young people who have dealt with mental health concerns speak of the friends who stuck with them and those who didn’t.
Friends that stick around can play a big role in helping someone recover and move past their mental health concern.
During the early stage of getting help, your friend may be spending a lot of time working on their mental health concern and may be making new friends who are also dealing with mental health concerns.
It may seem like you’re losing a friend. Don’t worry, over time the friendship will likely go back to what it was, and may even be stronger. Sometimes you just need to know that you have done what you can to help your friend even if you grow apart.
Let your friend know that you care, and that you haven’t forgotten about them, even if they keep pushing you away.
Your friend is still the same person, so it's important to treat them as you always have, as this may help them to get well.
Some Things You Can Do:
- Let your friend know you’ll be there for them even when things are really difficult.
- Stay in contact. Call them just to call them. Text just to say you’re thinking about them.
- Ask your friend from time to time how it’s going. If they want to talk, don’t make a big deal out of it.
- If your friend seems to be getting worse, ask if they are okay or if there’s something you can do. If you’re really concerned, speak to an adult you trust.
- Do small things to cheer them up, even if it’s only for a moment.
- Make them feel like they’re needed. Talk to them when you’re upset about something or when you want to vent. Hang out with them. Invite them to go out and do things.
- People are often overly critical of themselves and may think others feel the same way. Try not to be critical of them. Instead, find times when you can acknowledge their courage and successes.