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Helping a friend

Two girls with their arms around each other.Is your friend dealing with a problem like depression, an eating disorder, drug abuse, or violence at home? Just listening and offering to help can mean a lot.

A friend's problems may be more than you can handle alone. Don't be afraid to talk to an adult, such as a parent or guardian, teacher, school nurse, or school counselor. Even if your friend gets upset, the most important thing is protecting your friend's health and safety.

  • Learn to support a friend with depression with these tips.
  • Help a friend with an eating disorder with this article.
  • Help a friend quit smoking with TeenQuit.
  • When a friend struggles with drug drugs or alcohol, know what to say and do.
  • If a friend is being abused at home physically, sexually, or verbally, tell your friend to call the 24-hour Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453).
  • If a friend is being hurt by someone he or she is dating, give your friend the contact information for Your friend can get help by chat, by texting "loveis" to 22522, or by calling 866-331-9474.
  • Help a friend who is thinking about suicide by telling an adult right away. You can also tell your friend how to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or by chat.
  • If a friend is talking about hurting someone else, tell an adult right away. You also can give your friend contact information for a 24-hour crisis text line.
  • If a friend is having trouble in other ways, you can reach a 24-hour crisis text line. You also can contact a helpline for kids and teens at 800-448-3000 and by text, email, and chat.

Always tell an adult if a friend is in danger. Even if you just think a friend may be in danger, tell an adult.


Content last reviewed September 16, 2015
Page last updated November 18, 2015