Helping Someone Else
It is often overwhelming and confusing when you care about someone who seems to be having a difficult time emotionally (e.g., suffering from or "shown by" an eating disorder, substance abuse problem, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-inflicted injury). You may wonder: How do I know if they really have a problem? What should I do? How can I get them help?
The Counseling Center provides consultation to students, faculty, staff, or community members who are concerned about a student.
Here are some basic tips:
- Find a good place to talk.
- Be a good listener. Very often people just need someone who will listen to their concern without judging them or giving advice.
- Express your care and concern.
- Be direct. If you think the person has a problem, let them know what you see.
- Set appropriate limits. Let the person know that you care about them but you cannot be their counselor.
- Don’t promise something that you can’t back up. Avoid telling the person that you won’t tell anyone else (this can put you in a bind).
- Tell the person about the Counseling Center. Let them know that the services are free, confidential, and for normal people dealing with difficult situations.
- If the person is resistant to his/her coming to the Counseling Center , explore what their fears might be. You can even offer to accompany the person to their first appointment.
- Call the Counseling Center (439-4841), let the receptionist know that you are seeking consultation and ask to speak to one of the counselors. You may also email us with your questions.
- You can also come by the Counseling Center . We have pamphlets that might help you understand what is going on for the person and how to help.