Recognizing and Assisting the Emotionally Troubled Friend: Manipal Survival Guide:

Campus Life Counselling

Students face a variety of difficulties on a daily basis and faculty, staff, teaching assistants and friends may often wonder how they can help those students and friends. The emotional and academic pressure of university life, while manageable and even exhilarating for most students, can be simply overwhelming for others. Such students may not yet have attained the level of maturity necessary to develop adequate coping skills, or they may be struggling with relatively long-standing emotional deficits that are exacerbated by the transition to college life.

Consequently, due to your position, status, and visibility on campus, students experiencing emotional distress may turn to you for help. Or, because of your friendship, you may find yourself confronted by a disturbed or disturbing friend who needs assistance. How you respond in these situations could significantly impact the student’s ability to deal constructively with their emotional conflicts.

One of the most common concerns college students face is depression. This is an issue that impacts many students.

Depression can have negative impacts on one’s academics, social life, personal and familial relationships. As with most problems, it is helpful to intervene as soon as possible. By being better able to recognize the symptoms of depression and knowing what course of action to take, you may assist depressed students and friends in pursuing changes that will result in a lessening of their depressive symptomology.

 Signs of depression may include:

• Flat affect (inexpressive face)
• Slow speech
• Decrease in interest in course material
• Difficulty concentrating
• Poor class attendance
• Failure to complete assignments
• Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Agitation or irritability
• Crying
• Low energy/lethargy

If you notice the mentioned signs, consider the following actions:

  •  Listen
  • Take the issue seriously
  • Directly express your concern for the student
  • Directly ask the student if he or she is feeling depressed
  • Try not to threaten, admonish, or reproach a depressed student for falling behind in course work or missing class
  • Try to find alternative ways for the student to catch up on missed work
  • Make the appropriate referral to Counseling and Student Development Center

The Centre provides total privacy to students who need guidance and counseling. All matters discussed are kept strictly confidential. Student Counseling Centre ; (Tel No: 0820 – 2922903 / 2922035)

Areas of Concern

– Academics
– Examination anxiety
– Feeling of loneliness / depression
– Interpersonal relations
– Feeling of physical and mental stress
– Family issues
– Career planning
– Addictions (substance abuse)
– Adjustment to the new environment

If you need to discuss any of the above, you may contact the Counselor at the Centre directly.


  1. nice post. this is something that all of us should know. someone or the other is always going through such a phase in their lives….and it really helps to know that someone's there to help.

  2. Depression alone may could not be the reasons of non performance in academics. Sometimes the sense of importance for what you are doing is lost and we fall back. For example when we do any particular assignment we usually crib whats the point of this and so on. But somehow Knowing its value and respecting it somehow could help!

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