Worried about someone else

Worried about a friend


You may have noticed a friend behaving differently and out of sorts. You may be worried that your friend is suffering from depression or anxiety or generally struggling with the University life. 

What is it all about?

There are ways to recognise potential symptoms of depression. Here are a few different signs to look for:

Recognising the problem

Losing interest – you may notice that your friend may not be as interested in things that they used to enjoy.

Sadness – Your friend may seem very down and feel hopeless about aspects of their life.

Lethargy – They may show signs of having slower speech and movements.

Agitated – They can also appear to be more fidgety and restless than usual.

Exhaustion – Your friend could feel more tired, not having much energy.

Changes in appetite - Eating too much or not wanting to eat enough.

Changes to sleep pattern – They could be sleeping more than usual or are not able to sleep enough.

Difficulty concentrating – Not able to focus on everyday things, such as watching the television or reading a magazine.

Practical advice & tips

What you can do to help

Show you care - Let them know you are worried and that you are available to listen to them.

Be sensitive to how they are feeling - Accept them for who they are. Don’t judge them for what they may tell you about how they feel. Remember to ask them what would be helpful to them. Don’t just assume you know what they need.

Encourage – You can gently encourage them to look after their own wellbeing. This can be in the form of trying to stay active and exercise, eating well and doing things that they enjoy. Remember to be patient; your friend may find exercise or social interaction is now harder for them to do and more of a challenge to get started.

Help them to get support – You can help them to get support for how they are feeling. You could look into help available to them in the University or through local support groups. Again be patient; they may need some time to get used to the idea of seeking help.

Stay in touch – Keep in contact with them on a regular basis. Help them to get out of the house more often. This can help to prevent them from feeling isolated. It is important to listen to them, without always giving advice. Sometimes it’s good for them to just get the matter off their chests. Remember, you won’t be able to give them a solution for everything they are feeling. Just sharing how they feel, can sometimes be enough to lighten their load.

How to get support for yourself

You can’t take on responsibility for keeping another person safe, or making them happy – that responsibility is ultimately theirs. Be honest with them about what your limits are. You can’t always be there. Encourage your friend to build up a support network around them, to include other friends and family members. Responsibility can be shared and your friend can have a range of people to rely on for support. You can’t be expected to be an expert on coping with depression. It is best for your friend to also seek professional advice from a trained counsellor and/or GP.

Where to go for further support

Welfare@CampusLife cover a range of welfare topics on their website which might be of help to yourself and friend. welfare.campuslife@swansea.ac.uk / 01792 513889

Swansea University Health Centre

Wellbeing Service


It can be hard to to what do do when supporting someone with mental health problems. Mind have very useful information aimed to help friends, family, carers and others to give support and take care of themselves.

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