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.

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MAIN CAUSES OF STRESS

  • Studies (grades, exams, chur tutor)

  • Peer pressure

  • Career (internships, interviews, training contracts, pupillage)

  • Not wanting to practice law

  • Relationships

  • Making friends

  • Society, uncertainty

  • Family

  • Health 

  • Expectations 

  • It is also possible to stress over nothing

 
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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

  • Poor concentration

  • Overly-stressed / overly hard working

  • Frequently sharing emotional posts on social media

  • Not replying texts / refusing social interactions for a long period

 

PRACTICAL TIPS

Career / Academic Related Issues: see Faculty Resources

If you cannot handle the case (serious mental diagnosis, suicidal, victim of traumatic incidents): refer to CEDARS

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LEARN HOW TO TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS IN NEED

How to start the conversation:

  1. 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!

  2. It is better to talk one-to-one (of course, it depends on the personality of your friend)

  3. 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:

  1. Be a good listener - give your friend enough space to talk. Sometimes they just want someone to listen to their thoughts

  2. Try not to act surprised or nervous - let your friend feel like it is normal to feel sad / stressed

  3. 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)

  4. If you had similar experiences, share your feelings and how you coped with them

  5. 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

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After the conversation:

  1. Be there whenever your friend needs you!

  2. BUT look after yourself too. You are not supposed to do everything for your friend, remember your own priorities 

  3. Check how is your friend doing after a while

  4. Refer to professionals if the situation is long-standing or serious

 

USEFUL LINKS

HKU CEDARS -  CoPE Together: A Series of Tips on Helping Yourself and Others:

https://www.cedars.hku.hk/cope/pe/copetogether

Mind UK - Seeking help for a mental health problem:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/seeking-help-for-a-mental-health-problem/helping-someone-else-seek-help/?o=24607#.Vd2kUPlVhBc

American Bar Association – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Toolkit for Law Students and Those Who Care About Them:

https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/lawyer_assistance/ls_colap_mental_health_toolkit_new.authcheckdam.pdf