Help a Friend

Help a Friend/Responsibility Philosophy

The Student Center for Health and Well-Being promotes a philosophy of mutual responsibility and believes that, as a college community, we have a responsibility to one another. When a friend or peer is engaging in behaviors that cause us concern or is self-destructive, we have a responsibility to address those behaviors and encourage the person to seek appropriate help and support.

The question becomes "How?" Here are some ideas and options you might have in such a situation.

If you want to talk to the person for whom you have a concern directly, here are some tips:

  • Be clear about what behaviors the person is exhibiting that cause you concern. Example: "I have noticed you have been sleeping a lot more lately, you have missed a lot of classes, and you are not spending as much time with your friends".
  • Focus your comments in kindness and concern for the person.
  • Use "I messages" when talking about your concerns. Example: "I feel worried and scared when you talk like that"; as opposed to "how can you even talk that way".
  • Let the person know how their behavior impacts you. Example: "I wish you would talk to someone about these issues. I somehow feel responsible for making sure you're OK".
  • Give the person some ideas where they might go for help. Example: "Maybe you could talk to someone in the Counseling Center in T2150, Student Health Services, or your residential or peer advisor".

Important things to remember:

You do not have to be alone in your concern. Reach out and ask for support and help as to what you should do. Let the person with the problem take ownership of the problem. While you can be supportive, the person has control of what he or she will do. Most importantly, take care of yourself. You want to empathize and understand the problem another person is having without taking on their problem as your own. If you begin to lose sleep, worry so much you cannot concentrate, or your own grades begin to suffer, seek support and help for yourself. 

Counseling Services

For Appointments or more information call or stop by:

(218) 723-6085
Tower Hall 2150
8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday
Fax:  218-723-6482

Confidential Contact Form

In an emergency call 911. 


Teresa Guerrero, MSW, LICSW Teresa Guerrero headshot
Interim Director of SCHAWB

Marlene BartikoskiPortrait of Marlene Bartikoski
Administrative Assistant

Pam Bjorklund, Ph.D., RN, CS, PMHNPPam Bjorklund head shot
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Leigh Branovan, MSW, LICSWLeigh Branovan head shot
Mental Health Therapist

Erik Dahl Portrait of Erik Dahl
Mental Health Therapist Intern

Angie Hummel, M.A.Angie Hummel headshot
Mental Health Therapist

Sarah Wells, MSW, LICSWSarah Wells  headshot
Mental Health Therapist