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What to Do to Help

You’re concerned about someone’s mental health. What do you do now?

Helpful Language

Knowing how to approach someone you’re concerned about can be challenging and sometimes frightening. Finding the words to express your concerns can be difficult. Below are some suggestions on finding the right wording for you.

  1. Express your concerns. Let the individual know why you’re worried about them, bringing up specific behaviors.
    "I feel like I’ve seen less of you lately" vs "you’re never around."
  2. Use non-judgmental language. For an individual struggling, it can sometimes be scary to have someone point out behaviors that they may have been trying to hide. Doing so without judgment will help engage them in the discussion. Using "I" statements often soften what you’re trying to say.
    "I feel like you’ve been drinking more than usual" vs "you’re drinking too much."
  3. Avoid advice giving. When dealing with a sensitive topic, it’s best to avoid giving advice. This may make a person feel attacked.
    "How can I support you?" vs "you should try getting on an antidepressant."

Refer for timely intervention

If you’re concerned for your safety or the safety of someone else, please call University Police: 978-934-4911

Connect the individual to the appropriate resource. Offer the individual:

Make a STARs referral if you are concerned

In order to promote the safety & health of its students, STARs addresses student behaviors that are disruptive and may include mental health and/or safety issues.

The UMass Lowell behavioral intervention team, called Students at Risk (STARs), is a collaborative team made up of representatives from the Dean of Students’ Office, Student Health Services, the Counseling Center, Disability Services, Campus Conduct, EMS, and the UMass Lowell Police Department.

Contact STARs

Refer to the Wellness Center if appropriate

Depending on the situation, there are different departments within the Wellness Center that may be helpful:

Other helpful resources

On Campus Resources
Other Resources