Step 1: Open Up a Conversation
If your friend shows signs of emotional trouble and you think your friend might be willing to talk about it, try opening up a conversation.
Usually the best approach is to say something like this: "I've noticed you've seemed upset lately. I was wondering if you'd like to talk about what's bothering you."
Whether or not you choose to initiate this conversation depends on several things. It's possible your friend won't accept your attempts to be helpful or will down-play the troublesome issues. On the other hand, your friend might appreciate your interest and concern. This conversation may be an important step toward your friend doing something about the problems.
Step 2: Be a Good Listener
Try to understand your friend's feelings and problems from your friend's point of view. Be as genuinely supportive as you can, and let your friend know you understand what he or she is saying.
Step 3: Suggest Counseling
If your friend needs more help than you can give by listening and understanding, suggest that coming to the Counseling Center might be helpful. Gently remind your friend that the Counseling Center is here to provide confidential help to NCCU students with problems like your friend's.
While gentle persuasion to visit the Counseling Center is OK, being judgmental and pressuring your friend will probably be counterproductive.
If you want other ideas on how you might approach your friend or support in dealing with your friend's problems, consider scheduling a "consultation" at the Counseling Center for yourself. Call us anytime to schedule an appointment at 919-530-7646
North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville St.
Durham, NC 27707