Do they still need your support?
When people are going through a tough time they may be angry or withdrawn. If you try and help them, they may try to push you away. It may appear that their anger or lack of interest is aimed at you. Try not to take this personally as often it is not true. Instead it may be that they are having trouble managing their feelings because they are upset. Chances are they may appreciate some support but are not ready to ask for it. It may be helpful to let them know that you are around if they would like to talk.
Let your friend know that you care about them. Sometimes just knowing that there is someone there who cares, or that they can hang out with can be help enough.
Worried about someone’s safety?
If you are concerned about a friend’s safety, it is important that you talk to someone you trust. This may be someone like a counselor, doctor, family member, youth worker or teacher. It may be a good idea to talk to your friend first letting them know that you are worried about them. If you’re looking for information on signs that your friend may be suicidal, check out nineoutoften.org. You could also let your friend know that you could go and talk to someone together.
If you feel your friend needs emergency help, you should call the police (dial 911). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a source of crisis support - 1-800-273 TALK (8255) - where trained volunteers answer crisis calls 24/7.
For more info about what to do in an emergency check out the Getting Help in a Crisis section of ReachOut.
Looking after yourself
It is sometimes hard when someone you care about is sad or distant. Helping a friend may mean that you are giving up on some of your needs. Try to remember to look after yourself as well.
Speak to someone you trust, such as a family member, friend or counselor.Having time away from your friend can be an important way to help you relax. Make sure you spend some time doing what you enjoy. You may want to play a sport, hang out with other friends, listen to music, or go for a walk.
Last Reviewed: July 6, 2009