When a friend is struggling with their mental health, it can be hard to know how to help, and what your role is and isn’t. It can be useful to think about your own capabilities and boundaries before you offer a friend support, to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Being realistic about the level of support you’re going to be able to give is often far more helpful than overpromising and then burning out. Take a look at some practical suggestions of how you can help below, and see which would work for you:
If you find yourself repeatedly stressed about a friend’s wellbeing, then we strongly recommend that you ask Student Advisory & Wellbeing for some support and guidance. You must prioritise yourself, or it can all become too overwhelming!
It’s normal to be nervous about starting a conversation about mental health. Rather than worrying about how the conversation may go, it can be much more helpful to consider the things you can control, like when and where you’re going to be talking, and preparing a list of signposting resources for them.
Take what you think will be helpful from the tips below- ultimately, you know yourself and your friends best, and you know how best to talk to them.
We have lots of links on our Wellbeing webpages, but some other key places that you can signpost someone to are listed here:
In the local area:
We support Wellbeing’s advice regarding helping a friend in crisis:
If you’ve got a friend who’s in distress or serious crisis – possibly even considering suicide – consider the acronym COPE: be Caring, Optimistic, Practical – and seek an Expert.
For further advice and guidance please contact Student Advisory & Wellbeing.
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX