Helping Others

Mental Help Folder

download mental health folder

What to do for a person in distress

The most important information we can convey to another human being is that we care and that they matter. A safe campus is a caring campus!

Approach
  • It's OK to ask during a one-on-one conversation and express concern
  • Be specific about the behaviour that concerns you

Sample script:

I've noticed you've been absent from class lately and I'm concerned about you.

Listen
  • Listen openly and non-judgmentally

Sample script:

Can you tell me more? Is there anything I can do to help you?

Support
  • Acknowledge the person's thoughts and feelings in a compassionate way
  • Offer hope and reassure the student you are concerned and want to help

Sample script:

It sounds like you are feeling out of place. You're not alone and we have resources to help.

Refer
  • Provide person with resources (see I Need Help or last two pages of the Mental Help folder)
  • Offer to make the call with the person
  • If comfortable, walk with the person to a resource

Sample script:

Seeking help can feel scary but it's a sign of strength. If you'd like, I can call and connect you to a resource while you are here with me.

If in doubt, please contact Student Counselling for support on what to say, how to say it, or where to refer someone who is in need.