It is natural to feel upset, helpless, or angry if your friend is behaving in a way that seems different or strange to you. Rather than being frightened, find out if you can help:
• by asking your friend how they are feeling. It is possible that they might welcome the chance to talk.
• by encouraging your friend to talk and listening sympathetically to the feelings involved.
• by maintaining a balance in the friendship through sharing your own joys and worries too, as a friendship ceases to be that if it is all one way!
• by suggesting your friend calls if s/he feels upset, but in doing so think about your own needs. You may be tired or have your own pressures. It is important to be able to say 'no' under these circumstances.
If the problem starts to get on top of you, find someone to talk to - preferably a person who is neutral and right outside the situation such as a chaplain, College Personal Advisor, or a GP.
Remember, you are not responsible for your friend's actions or behaviour. Do not offer more than you can cope with - it is better to offer a little support which you can sustain, rather than offering a lot and then withdraw it.
You can also come to the Counselling Service and talk about how to help your friend as well as how to look after yourself.
1. If you feel able, encourage them to access the Counselling Service
2. Try to help them complete the on-line self-referral form.
3. You can contact Counselling to discuss your concerns.