Worrying about others can be a really good thing, as it shows we care for those around us. It can be tricky to find a balance between helping others and taking care of ourselves. If you've ever been on a plane you might remember being told by air hostesses that in the event of oxygen masks dropping down, you should put on your own mask before putting this on others around you. This is the same for when you are worried about others around you. You need to look after yourself first before you do this for others! Be compassionate and kind to yourself during these times and talk to others around you if you feel it would be helpful. Practice self-care by making sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising, as well as having time to do things important to you. It's nice to be there for friends and family we love and care about, but make sure you are also spending time doing the things you need to do.
The teenage years are when a lot of mental health problems show up. And teens tend to turn to their friends rather than parents for support.
You can help by just listening and saying something like: “That sounds really hard.” Listening is an important way to show that you care.
Sometimes getting your friend involved in something outside, social and fun can help. This is especially true if your friend is going through something like the end of the relationship. Being around other friends and families instead of alone is good for them. But they may fell too low or depressed to join in when you ask, and that’s okay too. Just keep asking and asking.
If you notice that their feelings of low mood, depression or anxiety go on for weeks and weeks, then it may be time to tell your parents or theirs. That’s hard to do if you feel like you’re going behind your friend’s back, but sometimes they need more help than you can give. If they start talking about hurting themselves or dying, you need to tell an adult right away.
It’s not your job to be there for them 24/7. And you don’t have to feel guilty if things in your life are good. If the helping your friend is making you feel stressed, low or anxious, that’s a big sign that an adult needs to step in.