Young adults with psychological problems tend to:
- avoid formal health services, such as campus health services, campus counselling services and family doctors
- avoid discussing these problems with lecturers, tutors or university staff either because they are worried about confidentiality and also whether knowledge of their problem will affect their course grades
- be concerned that a uni / college / TAFE staff member (who knows about their problem) might also be involved in their assessment and that this could be detrimental to them (this is known as academic jeopardy)
- talk to friends more than any other group about mental health problems they might be having
- observe and hear about their friend’s / colleague’s psychological problems
- tend to do more for a friend dealing with a psychological problem than they would do for themselves
Given these behaviours you can see how important friends are in the process of helping those who might be having mental health issues. In many cases friends might be the only ones who know or notice that there is a problem.