Many of us spend a lot of time with our close friends, so it’s only natural to notice if someone’s behavior seems “off.” You might think it would be overstepping your boundaries to talk to your friend about mental health, but in fact, offering your support may mean everything. Obviously, anyone with a possible mental illness should seek out behavioral health services for assistance.
The three most important things you can do for your friend are:
1. Schedule a talk in a quiet place where you both feel comfortable speaking, such as someone’s home.
2. Share your concerns. Do not be judgmental or condescending. Simply speak from the heart and point out any behavior changes that have worried you. Listen, don’t lecture, and do be prepared for all possible reactions. End your talk by suggesting help from a mental health therapist, offering your support every step of the way.
3. Take care of yourself! Don’t try to take over your friend’s life. Offer your support, but set healthy boundaries and don’t take on the illness as if it is your own.