Helping a Friend

Since tweens and teens often rely on their friends more than their parents or other adults in their lives, you may be the only person that someone feels they can talk to about their feelings. If your friend seems sad, angry, lonely or bored all the time there may be things you can do to help.

things you can do to help

  • Talk to your friend about depression by saying: “You seem real down lately, and not yourself. I want to help. Is there anything I can do?”
  • You do not have to have the answers. Your friend needs someone to listen and be supportive. By listening and responding in a non-judgmental and reassuring manner, you are helping.
  • Encourage your friend to get help. Offer to go with them when they talk to a parent, teacher, or counselor. It might be scary to admit that there is a problem and to have you there might help.
  • Help your friend through the hard times. Depression can sometimes make people do and say things that are hurtful or strange. Try not to take it personally. Once your friend gets help, they will be on their way back to being the person you know and love.
  • Tell an adult if your friend is suicidal. If your friend is joking or talking about suicide, giving things away, or saying goodbye, tell a trusted adult immediately. Your responsibility is to get your friend help, and get it fast! Even if you promised not to tell, your friend needs your help. It’s better to have a friend who is angry at you for a little while than one who is no longer alive.
  • Don’t forget to spend time with other friends or family who can take care of you – your feelings are important too.
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Using videos for students and low cost materials for teachers and parents, Red Flags offers schools a comprehensive, affordable, common sense approach to basic mental health education.
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