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How to Help

Useful Tips

Below are some tips on how to talk to a friend who is in distress:

  • Remember - APPS Cares:
    • Approach and Acknowledge. Tolerate any feelings of anxiety or awkwardness, pick a good time/place to talk, and be specific about what you observe that makes you concerned (e.g., "I'm concerned about you - I've noticed that...")
    • Probe. Show that you care by actively listening and asking questions. Try to understand and show empathy for what they are saying.
    • Promote Hope. Let your friend know that things can get better, that help is available and effective, and that they are not alone.
    • Share. Share referrals with your friend and let helpful others (e.g., friends, family, campus resources) know about your concerns.
  • If you are concerned about someone's safety due to thoughts of suicide, visit our Prevent Suicide (opens in a new tab) website./li>
  • View a 3-minute video (opens in a new tab) by Brene Brown on ways to express empathy.
  • If your friend is unsure whether they have a problem, suggest the Counseling Center's free online screenings (opens in a new tab) for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, alcohol use, bipolar disorder, and traumatic stress. The anonymous screenings can provide your friend with feedback and recommendations. This site also contains useful and informative articles on mental health concerns.
  • The Self-Help section of our website has recommendations (including books, apps, websites, videos, and more) to help address some of the most common student mental health concerns.