Families and friends – how to help

If you are concerned about your daughter/son or have recognized some signs of distress, it’s important to note there are many ways to help.

  • Set up a time to talk. Take measures so you won’t be interrupted.
  • Listen attentively to the response and encourage her/him to talk.

“Tell me more about that.”

  • Mention you have noticed changes in her/him and you want to help.

“How has everything been going for you lately? How are you doing in your courses?”

  • Allow time for her/him to tell her/his story.
  • Be non-judgmental and non-blaming.
  • Express concern and validate the concerns rather than focusing on solutions.
  • Give plenty of reassurance and reaffirm their positive attributes.

“This is a tough time, but you’ve made it through tough times in the past. You’ve certainly shown me you have persistence.”

  • Suggest that challenges or seemingly difficult situations are opportunities to practice problem solving skills – talk about what she/he found helpful in the past.

“What helped you when things were tough like this in the past?”

  • Ask if there is anything you can do to help.
  • Encouraging her/him to seek resources available at the university and/or elsewhere, for example:
    • Counselling (x4750)
    • Student Health Services (x3243)
    • 24 hour talk line (1-866-925-5454)
  • Tell her/him talking to a counsellor, doctor and/or nurse is what many students do whether they have a few or a lot of concerns. Many students say talking with a professional helped when they felt overwhelmed, depressed or worried about a mental health issue they were experiencing.
  • Visit Brock’s More Feet on the Ground website for helpful suggestions including how to start the conversation
  • Before you close the conversation, give her/him specific information about where she/he can get help.

“You can call 1-833-276-2533 (1-833-BROCK33) to make an appointment with a personal counsellor or x3243 to make an appointment with a mental health nurse or physician.”

  • Be sure to indicate she/he can contact you when she/he needs to.
  • If this is not an emergency situation and you are unsure about what to do call:
    • Debbie MacCulloch x7425
      Mental Health Nurse, Student Health Services

If you are worried this is a crisis situation, call 911. The Campus Security team is here 24 hours a day and can be reached at 905 688 5550 x3200.