How to Help
- Meet with the person privately. This will help minimize embarrassment or defensiveness.
- Share your concerns with him or her, pointing out specific behaviors and observations. You might say something like, “I’ve noticed that you seem more depressed, haven’t been going to class, and seem to be more withdrawn. I’m concerned about you and want to try to understand what may be going on”.
- Allow the person to talk and be prepared for resistance. Leave yourself open as a supportive listener and continue to express your concern. Keep in mind that expressing your concern may be planting a seed. Sometimes a student seeks help, such as through the Counseling Center, after another friend or a family member expresses their concern.
- Encourage the person to talk to a professional, such as a counselor, who understands the issue. Offer to accompany the person on their first visit to the Counseling Center.
- If you are feeling frustrated with your attempts to help the person, seek support and advice from the Counseling Center. You are welcome to come to the Counseling Center during Walk-In Clinic. Let the receptionist know that you would like to talk about your concern for a friend, and a counselor will be available to talk with you. A counselor will provide guidance on how to approach your friend or get them connected with the appropriate resources.
- If you are not comfortable talking with your friend directly, or if the person has not been willing to seek help, you may share your concern with others, such as an RA, professor, or staff member in the Dean of Students Office
For any student, sharing your concern with a staff member in the Dean of Students Office can be a great step. Please call (828) 262-8284 to share your concern with a member of the Dean of Students Office. You can also visit the Dean of Students website for other resources. The Dean of Students Office may enlist the help and support of others who have connections to the student.
The Counseling Center offers after-hours emergency coverage for urgent mental health concerns such as suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, and other trauma. Call the Counseling Center at 828-262-3180 and select the option to speak with the counselor on-call.
During operating hours, students in crisis can walk in any time.