Friends can often be the first to notice when someone is experiencing emotional difficulty or is upset, withdrawn, depressed, or exhibiting some other change that seems out of character. If you are concerned about a friend, initiate a conversation. An empathetic, non-judgmental approach can make that person feel cared about. In many cases, your support will be all that’s needed for your friend to move toward a solution.

The Student Development & Counseling Center (SDCC) can help you determine next steps in supporting your friend. Advise your friend to call the SDCC to schedule an appointment. Offer to help make the call or accompany him or her on the first visit. If your friend is reluctant to speak with the SDCC, suggest the self-help resources and online screening tools.

Coming out to my friends and family was probably the most difficult experience of my life. It was so relieving to know that the counselor I visited at the SDCC would never judge me and whose sole purpose was to listen and help me.