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Getting a Friend Help

I have several friends who I have been worried about in the past and who I'm currently worried about. There is one who is really bad right now and she's not in a good headspace. She's also not listening to professional help. If I'm afraid that if I tell someone important, such as her Mum, then my friend will get angry and turn against me, and then she really will have no one to help her.

 

Should I listen to my worried mind and tell her Mum, or listen to my heart and not go behind her back? Has anyone ever been in a position like this before?

Re: Getting a Friend Help

Hi ff,

 

You sound like a really supportive and caring friend.  That is a very difficult position to be in, when you're worried for a friend yet they seem unwilling to accept the help or to see someone about it. 

 

If you're worried about her safety and think that she's at risk of suicide then I think it's definitely a good idea to tell someone. This will not only ensure her safety but will help with giving you peace of mind too. And most people do understand after the crisis why their friend has chosen to seek help for them.

 

Otherwise if she seems to be struggling but not at risk of seriously harming herself, then I think keep showing that you're willing to be there for her and encourage her to seek help. Maybe offer to make an appointment for her with a school counsellor or GP and offer to go along with her for support? Sometimes it takes people time to come round to the idea of getting help. If she's not ready for face to face help, perhaps remind her of helplines such as Kids Help Line (1800 551 800) and eheadspace.org and of course, ReachOut.com for info and peer support.

 

Some good factsheets you can check out are Worried about someone feeling depressed http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/worried-about-someone-feeling-depressed and When someone pushes you away http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/when-someone-pushes-you-away.

Re: Getting a Friend Help

What @FindingHope said! At the end of the day if you told someone like her mum you would be helping to keep her safe which is the most important thing - and your friend would probably appreciate that one day. It's a fine line but where safety is concerned it's super important to do everything in your power to help - even if that means a possibility of your friend not being happy with you at the time.

Re: Getting a Friend Help

Hi florenceforever,

 

I've been in this position before so I feel for you. In my case I didn't tell my friend's mum, but I informed a teacher at school what was going on (my friend was harming herself) and she contacted her mum and asked her to come in to school and talk to her about it. I was really worried about what my friend would think, but she was okay about it and realised that I was just worried about her and only trying to help her. Your friend might be angry at first, but I'm sure she'll understand that you only had her best interests at heart. It is a really tough decision to make though. Best of luck with it.

 

EDIT - FindingHope and JustThatGirl have given you some awesome advice.