HOW FRIENDS CAN HELP
In most cases, friends are the best listeners and counsellors. Find out how to support your friends and help them overcome difficult times.
MAIN CAUSES OF STRESS
Studies (grades, exams, chur tutor)
Career (internships, interviews, training contracts, pupillage)
Not wanting to practice law
It is also possible to stress over nothing
SIGNS THAT YOUR FRIEND MAY NEED HELP
A loss of interest in life and activities.
Decreased energy, struggling to complete daily tasks
Irregular sleeping patterns
Overly-stressed / overly hard working
Frequently sharing emotional posts on social media
Not replying texts / refusing social interactions for a long period
LEARN HOW TO TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS IN NEED
How to start the conversation:
Talk while doing something else: take your friend for a walk, have a nice meal / drink, watch movies at home … treat it as a casual hangout!
It is better to talk one-to-one (of course, it depends on the personality of your friend)
Don’t force it - do not insist on the topic if your friend does not wish to talk about it, just let them know you are willing to offer help whenever h/she needs it
During the conversation:
Be a good listener - give your friend enough space to talk. Sometimes they just want someone to listen to their thoughts
Try not to act surprised or nervous - let your friend feel like it is normal to feel sad / stressed
Even if they believe in things that are clearly unusual : do not deny right away, but keep cautious if the belief is dangerous (eg suicidal / malicious thought, illegal acts)
If you had similar experiences, share your feelings and how you coped with them
If you do not have similar experiences, do not be afraid to give advice - let your friend know h/she is not facing the problem alone (but don’t give reckless advice). You may also talk about experiences of others
After the conversation:
Be there whenever your friend needs you!
BUT look after yourself too. You are not supposed to do everything for your friend, remember your own priorities
Check how is your friend doing after a while
Refer to professionals if the situation is long-standing or serious
HKU CEDARS - CoPE Together: A Series of Tips on Helping Yourself and Others:
Mind UK - Seeking help for a mental health problem:
American Bar Association – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Toolkit for Law Students and Those Who Care About Them: