How to help a friend: 20+ resources from Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone often hears from young people that they’re worried about a friend’s mental health and well-being. They may share things like, “I’m worried that my classmate’s being bullied at school, but I don’t know what to do…,” or, “My friend seems really down and I’m scared they’re dealing with something serious — what could I say?” If you’re concerned about a friend’s wellness, Kids Help Phone is here to help both of you with information and one-on-one support. Below, we’re sharing a collection of self-guided resources about helping a friend who may be struggling with something — big or small.

Remember, your mental health and well-being are important, too. If you’re really worried about your friend, or just need someone to talk to, you can contact Kids Help Phone or someone else you trust for support. Checking in with your friend and showing that you’re there to listen and support them can let them know they’re not alone. It can also be helpful to keep in mind that you’re not responsible for anyone else’s actions, trying to diagnose someone or for making sure your friend gets support. Only they can decide what they need and if / when they’re ready to take that step.

Here, you can browse through a variety of tools and resources for helping a friend. Choose a story that’s most relevant to you to get started!

I don’t know where to start to help a friend…

I’m worried about a friend’s mental, emotional, spiritual / physical well-being…

I’m worried about a friend’s safety…

I’d like to share mental health tips and tools with a friend…

We hope these resources help both you and your friend navigate the challenge(s) you’re facing on your own or together — it’s about finding what works best for each of you. Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors and volunteer crisis responders are available 24/7 to support you / your friend with whatever’s on your mind(s). You’re never alone!

Published May 2021

Need more information or support? You can contact Kids Help Phone 24/7.