Worried about a friend?
If you’re worried about a friend, you might not know what to do. They could be having a down day, or maybe you have noticed for a while they have been acting differently. Below are some tips on what you can do to let your friend know you’re there for them:
- Be sensitive and patient – If your friend is going through a hard time they may not be thinking how their actions and words may hurt others around them. If they do say something abrupt whilst you try and talk to them, try and not take it to heart. Instead, persevere in showing you care.
- Talk to them – Although this may be hard, you have to think how the other person is feeling. Maybe go for a walk or sit somewhere quiet and just ask if everything is OK. You don’t need to ask them personal questions, but a simple ‘how are you feeling?’ might get them to open up.
- Encourage them to seek help – It’s more than likely your friend will refuse professional help, and won’t want to speak to anybody. Instead of agreeing with them, very gently nudge them in the direction of help and ask why they don’t want to speak to anyone. They might be too scared or shy – offer to go with them and if they want you to, even sit with them.
- Check in on them – After you have spoken to them, and they have listened to your advice remember to keep checking in. Don’t ignore them, and remember they are still having these thoughts. Invite them round after school, or at the weekend. Let them know every now and again that you are there, that way they won’t feel quite alone.
There are many places your friend can go for support locally – the Young and Safe team support young people at times when they are vulnerable and need to be supported towards safety – their contact details are below. You could also look at the young people’s health pages for information about relationships, emotional wellbeing, drugs and alcohol and stress or our other pages about staying safe
The Youth Offending Service aims to prevent offending by children and young people. They work as a prevention and intervention service for young people that have entered the youth justice system or are believed to be at risk of doing so.