Knowing Your Limitations

There may be situations where outside help is needed. Good examples of such situations include, but are not limited to:

  • When your friend expresses thoughts or desires to hurt himself or herself or someone else.
  • If your friend has been acting differently than usual, such as not engaging in their typical activities and appearing depressed, agitated, and anxious.
  • You sense that something is wrong.

When in doubt, consult with a professional to help or to discuss the appropriateness of your intervention. There are professionals on campus that you can turn to when these situations arise, and when you feel overwhelmed and become involved beyond what seems  comfortable and appropriate. These individuals include your House Dean, RA/GA, and a Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) counselor. It is important that you realize you are indeed helping your friend by getting these individuals involved because it requires their knowledge and experience

Remember to take care of yourself. Your role is to provide support; it is not to be a hero. In your desire to show a friend you care, you may begin feeling stressed because you are taking on too much responsibility and placing more effort than necessary. It is vital that you attend to your own needs. Do not let the situation cause you to start doing poorly in school, have health problems, or take  basic enjoyment out of your own life. Remember that a CAPS clinician is available to you in person or by phone.