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Wellness > Mental Health

How to Support a Friend who is Struggling with Mental Health

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Helsinki chapter.

When life goes downhill, what you need the most are your friends and family and their support. Even if the person that is facing a crisis or a depression would like to isolate themselves from their entourage, you should remember to check out on them and to make them leave their house (or call them during the corona virus situation).

It is not always easy to know when your friend could be needing some extra support. Check for these signs and if they continue for weeks, make sure your friend seeks professional help:

  • You friend is tired and cannot sleep at night
  • Your friend cannot concentrate or relax even a week after a stressful/traumatising situation
  • Your friend has physical symptoms, such as headaches or dizziness
  • Your friend feels anxious or depressed
  • Your friend doesn’t care for things that used to be important to them, such as hobbies or other interests
  • Your friend starts to get themselves in stressful situations or starts to abuse for example alcohol
  • Your friend says “I can’t live anymore” or “nothing is meaningful”


These are the warning signs that tell us that this person should consult a mental health professional! As a friend, it is very important that you speak out your concerns and help the other to get professional help.

If your friend is already consulting a professional, it is still very important that you stay close to and take care of them. Also, sudden crises like losing a loved one can cause temporary symptoms of sorrow.

In these cases, here are some tips that you can consider for cheering them up:

  • Take your friend out sometimes to do nice things, although they might say that they feel too tired. It is important to leave the house! During the corona virus outbreak, we still have the possibility to make videocalls, remember to consider it as an option!
  • Listen to your friend, although it might feel like they keep repeating the same things. It is very important that they talk about their problems, and it also helps them to heal. However, if you feel like it would be better for your friend to talk to a specialist, feel free to propose it nicely to them.
  • Tell you friend that you care about them and are concerned about them.
  • Ask your friend how they are and if they need any help.
  • Just be there for your friend and give them warmth.

Everybody reacts differently to the crisis in their lives and/or depression, and the most important thing we can do is to be with them and to listen. If your friend does not want to talk about it, you should be cool with that as well. Don’t underestimate the power of your friendship. Even if your friend is depressed, they value you more than you can imagine! Just remember how important your friends are to you.



The author is a student of Translation and Interpretation of French from the University of Helsinki. She is constantly up to planning new travels around the world, learning more about herself and cherishing her friends. She loves to pay attention on the little details and explore between different cultures. 
Helsinki Contributor