Worried About a Friend? Here’s How to Support Them

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For most of my life, I’ve wished that I had some sort of a handbook for being a friend. I think I do a pretty decent job (although, I suppose you’d have to check with my friends on that one), but there’s no way to be there for someone perfectly all the time.

I mean, how many times have I told a friend I knew how they felt without really having any idea whatsoever?

How many times have I just jumped to giving advice and solving the problem when all they needed was a sounding board?

How many times did I know someone was struggling, but I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything at all?

The truth is that there’s no perfect way to be a friend, and that’s especially true when you’re trying to help a friend admit they need help, seek that help, get the help, and manage their recovery. There are way too many variables in play.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little guide for that journey?

That’s why we created the Be A Friend resources.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Why Empathetic Responses are So Important

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Phew! The last 2 months finishing up my Emerging Scholars Fellowship project was a whirlwind, but I’m extremely excited by the findings.  When analyzing the interviews for my project, it was a big challenge to make sense of all the different factors related to disclosure: how many people were told, how much information was disclosed, and how disclosure changed when multiple attempts had occurred. To better understand the sequence of events, I started drawing timelines of the events.

The example below highlights one individual who experienced negative reactions from family members following an attempt; yet, her sister responded in a helpful manner. From that point forward, she felt comfortable talking about current suicidal thoughts with her sister. In other words, her sister became a confidant, and her sister helped navigate treatment when needed.

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