Every day we ask questions like “how are you?” and “what’s up?” as a way of saying “hi” when passing friends in the hall, responding to emails and posting on Facebook walls. But how often do we get meaningful responses to those questions that tell us how our friends are really doing?

If you have a friend who is struggling emotionally, not coping well or using drugs or alcohol to escape, it’s important to understand that unaddressed emotional health problems can have serious consequences. These problems can make it hard to succeed in work or school, and lead to addiction, dangerous behaviors, or thoughts of suicide. When asked who they would turn to for help if they were in emotional distress, most people list their friends as a top source of support.

Are you prepared to recognize a friend in need and steer them toward help? Would you know what to do?

HOW TO TELL IF A FRIEND IS STRUGGLING

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

WHAT TO SAY TO A FRIEND WHO IS STRUGGLING