Do’s and Don’ts

  1. My friends are distressed. What should I do to help?
    Do This!!
    • Listen to them attentively

    • Encourage them to share with you their distress at their own pace

    • See if there is suicidal risk, for example, self-harming or making a will. If yes, you should seek help with them


    • Ignore them

    • Being indifferent

    • Do nothing

  2. What should I say to friends with distress?
    Do This!!
    • Give them hope, by saying, “Your problem cannot be solved right at this moment. But you can solve it step by step and thing will get better.”

    • Show them your care and support, by saying, “I am here for you and I am willing to help.”


    • Ignore their feelings. Don’t say, “Your problem is trivial. There is nothing to be unhappy about!”

    • Make judgmental statements. Don’t say, “They are just kidding! Don’t be touchy!”

  3. What should I do if my friends keep silent?
    Do This!!
    • Let them know that you are there for them, by saying, “I am willing to listen. I will stay with you. Call or text me when you are ready to tell.”


    • Insist that they speak. Don’t say, “How can people know why you are unhappy if you do not speak!”

    Student Health Service, Department of Health