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Mental Health Resources

Supporting a Friend

When a friend is struggling with a mental health issue, we want to be able to help them. Here is some information that can be helpful:

Warning Signs

The National Alliance of Mental Illness is a great resource for understanding mental health and how to get support. Below are 10 warning signs that someone might be struggling with mental health issues:
  • Feeling very sad, withdrawn or unmotivated for more than two weeks.
  • Making plans or trying to harm or kill oneself.
  • Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors.
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing.
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or weight gain.
  • Severe mood swings causing problems in relationships.
  • Excess use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits.
  • Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still.
  • Intense worries or fears getting in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.

Steps That You Can Take

Compassionate listening can help a friend feel understood and supported. But sometimes a friend needs more help, and may benefit from talking to a professional. One important thing you can do is to encourage them to connect with a community resource such as:
  • Maine Crisis Hotline (888) 568-1112
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (800) 950-6264
  • Sexual Assault Response Services (800) 871-7741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
A Word about Suicide

If a friend has mentioned or talked about ending his, her, or their lives, take action. Stay with them and call 911. If you have a friend that is not in immediate danger, but you would like more information about suicide prevention, please contact:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (800) 950-6264
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255