I Care About U
We want everyone to feel comfortable talking about their mental health and wellness. But we know it’s often difficult to start the conversation. Being a kind, listening ear can be exactly what someone needs to stay well or take the next steps to getting well.
Let's be there for one another
Do you know how important you are to your classmates, friends, and community? Our social connections matter so much. Just being present for another person going through a difficult time can make a world of difference.
Know the signs
Look out for friends and classmates and pay attention to these signs that may show they’re struggling and need support.
- Reduced participation or involvement in regular activities
- Excessive fatigue
- A change in personal hygiene
- Inappropriate or exaggerated behavior
- Missing class
Say what you see
Be direct. Let them know that you’ve noticed a change. Stick to the facts—don’t judge, don’t make assumptions, just say what you see. If you’ve witnessed some of the warning signs for two weeks or more, let them know what you see and that you care.
Ways to talk to someone who you see is struggling:
- "You seem distracted today. Is there anything you want to talk about?”
- "You seem really tired lately. How are you doing?"
- "I noticed you missed class a few times. What's going on with you?"
Hear them out
Be a good listener and balance the conversation. Be curious and keep your questions open-ended. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions based on what they say. It’s rarely necessary (or helpful) to share your own experience or give advice. Remember, this conversation is about them, not you.
Ways to hear them out:
- "I'm sorry, that seems like a difficult situation to be in. What is that like for you?"
- "I'd like to hear more about that."
- "That sounds really difficult. How is it affecting your life?"
Show you care
Try to be a warm, supportive presence. Build trust by asking their needs. Deep, engaged listening can show how much you care. Turn off your phone, make eye contact—be curious and patient. Your words are powerful. What you say and how you say it can signal not only that you care about them, but that you're also a safe person to reach out to.
Ways to show you care:
- "Thanks for taking time to talk with me. I wanted to have this conversation because I care about how you are doing and want you to know I'm here to support you in the ways you need."
- "How can I be helpful?"
Connect with help
Distress can make a person feel so isolated. You can't (and should not try to) force a person to take advantage of mental health services, but you can support them on their journey. Ask if they would like help researching their options or if they would like you to be there the first time they make a call or visit.
Don't hesitate to call 911 for help if they're in danger.