It’s no surprise that having supportive friends is an extremely valuable resource when things get tough. When you’re a teenager though, these friends are often the same age as you and may have limited resources or experience to help you in the way you need. This can be especially true when youth are faced with a friend going through a mental health crisis.
In my experience youth are great at noticing when something isn’t quite right with one of their mates. Maybe their friend is no longer coming to things like they used to, they just seem a bit off, or they’re actually saying scary things about their self-worth or wanting to end their life.
When youth come to me asking for advice on how to help their friends struggling with their Mental Health I give them this resource; ‘Checklist for helping your friend’ *
Instead of just relying on their own decisions, youth can work through this checklist and have confidence in how they’re helping. It reminds them they don’t have to do this alone.
I encourage you this week to familiarise yourself with this checklist, have a conversation about it, keep it handy in case your youth needs it. Helping a friend through a mental health crisis is not something youth should have to face alone.
Until next week,
Trainee Youth Minister
*Checklist adapted from the Youth Mental Health First Aid manual.
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash