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How Best to Support a Friend
January 11, 2011
12:07 am
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Loretta
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I have a friend whose family is in the middle of a crisis.  Their adult child suffered what I'll call a melt down.  It just happened while he was working.  It was like all of a sudden everything was too difficult to handle.  He became scared.  He ultimately tried to kill himself.  He has received counseling and has made progress, but it's changed his life tremendously, and he admits he's still scared.  They are still worried.  I am just a family friend, and I don't want to butt in, but I am around them.  I want to be as supportive as possible, but I'm not sure when I might sound nosy or overly sensitive.  How can I help them as they continue to go through this time?

January 12, 2011
3:35 pm
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Tommy45
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I think you basically have the right idea. Rather than getting involved directly with this sensitive matter, you could try to support them in less intrusive ways. For example, if you think they are generally stressed with what's going on, maybe you could bring them some dinner or baked goods here and there. Little time savers and acts of kindness go a long way when a family is dealing with a crisis. As for the main issue with their adult child, I agree that unless they ask for advice or help, you're probably better off leaving that to them and professional counselors.

January 12, 2011
4:09 pm
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freeme
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Well it's great that you want to help!  I think you need to be sure that they know that you are there for them with whatever they might need.  Do they have other kids?  Perhaps you could take them out and spend time with the other kids ~ giving the parents time with the child that is having the problems.  Just be there and let them know that you are there for them.

January 14, 2011
6:28 am
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BettyAnn
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I think everyone here has the right idea. Helping out with the little day to day things would probably take a lot off their minds. Just let them know you are there for them and anything they need and lend an ear whenever they want to talk. A nonjudgemental friend is invaluable in a situation like this.

January 15, 2011
11:36 pm
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Loretta
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Thanks for the suggestions.  I can think of a couple of things that I can do that would be 'normal' but also help out, giving the parents some time to either 'just breathe' or spend time with their son.  I'm just praying things go well.

January 19, 2011
3:32 pm
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purplesaber
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I like what the others have said. I think things like bringing over a home-cooked meal or something would be nice. Then, if they need somebody to talk to--just being there probably helps tremendously.

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