I'm worried about a friend

Witnessing a friend in a mental health crisis can be very difficult. Frequently, you as a concerned friend want to help but are not sure how, or you might not even know what signs to look for. Knowing possible signs of distress and knowing resources available on and off campus can increase the chance that the person at risk gets the help he or she needs. A mental health crisis can take many forms, but here are some signs that might suggest the person is in need of support:

  • Physical

Changes in appetite or significant weight loss/gain
Sleep changes/disruption
Lack of energy
Excessive energy or restlessness

  • Cognitive

Difficulty paying attention in class, work, or during conversations
Decreased tolerance or ability to manage stress
Decreased self-esteem

  • Emotional

Feeling and appearing sad or low in mood
Crying more than usual
Increased irritability or anger
Loss of interest in things s/he used to enjoy
Helplessness or hopelessness

  • Behavioral

Skipping class or work
No longer responding to calls or texts
No longer involved in social media
Social withdrawal/isolation
Increased drug or alcohol use

  • Talk of suicide or any actions related to harming oneself or others.

If you see any of the above OR other behaviors that have you worried,  it is important to act now.

Here is what you can do:

1. Tell your friend you are worried and want them to get professional help. If your friend will talk, your job is to listen.  But always emphasize that getting professional help is needed.


2. If you friend is talking about suicide or doing anything related to suicide, tell a responsible adult like a resident advisor, a parent or the counseling center. IF it is URGENT, call!

--UCR Campus Police - 911 or 951-827-5222

--UCR Counseling Center for urgent consultation or referrals - 951-827-5531

--Riverside Helpline - 951-686-HELP (4357)

--National Suicide Hotline - 1-800-784-2433

Stay with your friend until help arrives.


3. Visit the UC Counseling Center to help you deal with your own stress and discuss the best ways to manage this situation. Click here for the Counseling Center webpage or you can call us now to schedule an appointment.

4. Learn more at the websites of: