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. If you feel that you need more coaching, take a look at our on-line coaching tool, Kognito: At Risk.
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."
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."
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."
Connect the individual to the appropriate resource. Offer the individual the Crisis Text line: 741741 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK for 24 hour assistance. *To help promote these resources, magnets are available through Jacquie Keeves.
Depending on the situation, there are different departments within the Wellness Center that may be helpful:
Other helpful resources include: