Witnessing a friend break down mentally is very difficult. Frequently, you as a concerned friend want to help but are not sure how. After all, one cannot control what another person does. But, one can make a real and important difference in increasing the chances that the person at risk gets the help he or she needs. A mental breakdown can take many forms.
RECOGNIZE the signs of distress. Here are some things that you might be seeing that suggest you act:
High risk / dangerous behavior
Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Increased alcohol and/or substance use
Sad, anxious, empty mood, or mood swings
Hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Withdrawal and isolation
High levels of irritability or anger
Inability to concentrate or make decisions
Missed or coming late for classes or work
Fatigue, lack of energy or sleep disturbance
Change in personal hygiene
Change in appetite; weight loss or gain
Delusions and paranoia
Find a private place to talk.
Say, “I’m worried about you.”
Ask how they are doing and how you can help.
Ask about self-harm, if you’re concerned.
CONNECT TO RESOURCES
Refer your friend to CAPS. Call 858-534-3755 for a free and confidential appointment.
In an emergency, call UCSD Campus police (858) 534-HELP (4357).
Consult with a trusted other such as a Resident Dean, College or Academic Dean or CAPS.
CONNECT OR CONSULT WITH OTHER RESOURCES:
Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD):
Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Resource Center (SARC):
Student Health Services (SHS):
San Diego County Mental Health (24/7):
Office of Student Disabilities (OSD):
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: