How Do I Get Help for a Friend?

I have a friend who is going through a really tough time at home. While I want to listen to her and support her, it can be too much for me sometimes. I’m the only person she really tells this stuff to, and she has told me multiple times that I’m the only person keeping her sane and alive. What should I do? Should I advise her to see a therapist, and if so, how could I do it without her thinking I don’t want to listen to her?

One Comment

  • BYS Counselor says:

    Hi there,
    Sounds like you’re in a tough spot – you care for her, but this is a lot more than any one friend needs to be responsible for.

    It might help you to keep in mind that if this were a physical problem, then there’s a point when you would definitely make her go get professional help, even if it makes her feel scared or embarrassed. For example, if she tripped and had a mild ankle sprain, you might help her hop over to a couch and get her an ice pack. But, if she tripped and broke her ankle, you’d probably get her more help – call 911, or her family so they can take her to the hospital.

    It’s the same way with things that impact our emotional wellness. Sometimes, talking to a friend is all we need. But, if a problem persists for a long time, and there’s a lot of things going on one after another, there are people trained to help in those more challenging times. And letting her know she might want more help is something you can tell her, because you know her well, and you want to support her.

    Maybe you can also support her by helping her figure out how to get more help, whether it’s walking into the school counseling office, or sending in an appointment request on-line together. That way you can show her that you aren’t pushing her away.

    If you are local to us, we also have lunch walk-in hours to see a therapist. If you want to stop by to see a therapist we can brainstorm with you on how to broach the subject with your friend. (And then you can say, “I’ve been to see them, too.”)

    Good luck!

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