How to get help for a friend
Perhaps you have a friend or loved one who is having a difficult time. When you’ve done all you know to do, how do you encourage them to seek professional help?
- First, know your limits. If you feel you are in over your head, you probably are.
- It is crucial that your attitude be kept in check when confronting your friend. Show concern without looking down on them. They will know the difference.
- Ask simple questions such as “Do you need help?” or “Do you want me to call someone for you?” Often, people get so wrapped up in their situation, they don’t think to look outside themselves. Sometimes, just these questions will encourage them to take action.
In some situations, you must take action even if your friend doesn’t want you to. If they are suicidal or homicidal, if you suspect child or elder abuse or if there is a severe drug or alcohol problem, you are obligated to seek help. In extreme cases, you may have to contact your local emergency services.
Otherwise, you can contact your counselor, physician, pastor or Mental Health Mental Retardation agency. They will be able to refer you to the appropriate services. Don’t delay. You would not hesitate to seek help if your loved one had a serious physical illness. Mental health issues can be just as life threatening.