If Your Child is Worried about a Friend

Make sure your child is familiar with the signs that a friend needs help dealing with emotional issues or may be dealing with a mental health problem. Signs of depression or apathy, severe anxiety or stress, increased use of alcohol or drugs or compulsive behavior should be taken seriously.

Your child may not be able to understand how their friend is feeling, but they can listen and let the friend know he or she isn’t alone. Your child should stress that sometimes we need a mental health check-up the way we get other medical exams; that reaching out for support is the first step to feeling better and is a sign of courage, not weakness.

It is important for your child to remember that he is not a therapist. His role is to be supportive and encourage help seeking. He SHOULD NOT ignore the problem, enable the friend by covering up, or participate with the friend in behaviors that are agitating the student’s mental health.

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