Learn the Signs

Concerned about a friend?

You might not be certain your friend is displaying worrisome signs regarding their mental health. Here are a few signs to look for as a guide:

- Impulsive behaviors or being more irritated than usual
- Not functioning like their usual selves (i.e., change in habits of how they dress, general appearance, eating or sleep habits)
- Talking about feelings of loneliness or despair
- Excessive worry
- Trouble concentrating
- Substance misuse

They don’t feel like hanging out as much

Their mind seems to be somewhere else

They are so anxious they can’t relax

They’ve gotten negative about life

They’re not acting like themselves and are more irritable than usual

They are taking more risks than usual

They talk about feeling hopeless

They’re taking more drugs or drinking more

They are harming themselves

Notice the warning signs online

While you might hang out with your friends a lot, the reality is that you're not always physically with them. While texting, group chats, and DMs can be common forms of keeping in touch, they can cloud any evidence of concerning body language or tone you would typically see hanging out in person. So how do you know if something is off?

Keep an eye out for these signs that could indicate your friend is struggling with their mental health:

- Posting captions, hashtags, or emojis that are overtly sad or negative- they go beyond sarcastic jokes.
- Liking posts or following accounts that promote negative behaviors– even if they aren’t sharing it to their feeds.
- Writing posts or comments that show impulsive behavior, irritability, hostility, or indicate insomnia.

Whether it’s on social media, in group chats, or during a hangout – if you suspect your friend is struggling, trust your gut.