Counseling Services - How to Help a Friend

How to Help a Friend

If you have a friend or fellow student about whom you are concerned, here are some suggestions on how to approach him or her.

  • Speak with your friend in a private location, when neither of you will be rushed.
  • Be straightforward and non-judgmental. In a supportive and kind manner, be specific about what you've observed and what you are concerned about. Ask if he/she would like to talk about it.
  • Listen carefully; quiet your mind so you can fully focus on what he/she is sharing with you. Summarize what you have heard to be sure you are hearing what was said.
  • Refer your friend to the Counseling Center for additional assistance. If your friend is having a significant problem, chances are it is more than you are prepared to handle.  Dr. James Hagenbaugh, Director of Counseling, can be reached at ext. 3478 or via e-mail at You may also feel free to stop by the Bruder Center to set up an appointment.  
  • If he/she is reluctant to seek help, offer to accompany your friend to the Bruder Center.
  • Recognize your limitations; you do not have the power to make your friend change or to control how your friend responds.

You do have the ability to be honest, genuine and supportive. You have the option of getting support for yourself, acknowledging your own needs and setting healthy boundaries. 

Immaculata University | 1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345 | p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Immaculata University is a Catholic, comprehensive, coeducational institution founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Copyright ©2012 All Rights Reserved | Federal Compliance Links | Clery