Speak privately to the student or friend, and out of earshot from other people.
Remain calm and nonjudgmental with your own thoughts.
Be sensitive to the individual but direct in your conversation. It is okay to ask the person if s/he has had thoughts of self-harm ( if you suspect this ). Such a question doesn’t necessarily trigger new ideas of self-harm, but may be a relief for the person to talk about the stress.
Acknowledge the importance of what the student is sharing with you. Most likely, there is a lot of pain that the student has kept inside.
Refer the student for help. Suggest that you will initiate the phone call to us, or walk with him/her to the Counseling Center (across from Hyde Hall). Make a plan to do either of these that day.
Provide encouragement and check up with the person frequently. Caring friends are an important life-line during stressful times. Your concern for the individual is a valuable part of the process toward well-being.
Take care of yourself, as well. Helping a friend in crisis is stressful. Tend to your well-being and talk to a trusted individual about your anxieties in this process.