Helping in Non-emergency Situations

We all struggle, feel depressed or anxious, and show some indications at times in face of various life situations. If these symptoms do not disappear for a long time, if they affect our academic, social and daily life, it’s important to reach the right sources of help.

Significant changes to be aware of when you observe in your acquaintances:

Academic Changes

  • Significant decrease in academic performance
  • Repeated missed assignments
  • Significant procrastination on studying
  • Significant attention and memory problems
  • Having extraordinary anxiety during exams
  • Extraordinary reluctance in lecture discussions and attendance
  • Essays or papers that have themes of anger, despair, loneliness etc.


Significant Changes in Behaviors and Appearance

  • Marked changes in hygiene, personal care and dress
  • Inexplicable and/or unintentional change in weight
  • Increase in disruptive behaviors (agitation, irritability, unproved hostility, lack of apparent emotion etc.)
  • Depressive mood
  • Sleep related problems, excessive sleep or problems in falling into sleep
  • Hyperactivity or talking a mile in a minute
  • Using illegal or/and unprescribed drugs


Other Major Loses and Traumas

  • Severe illness or a death of a significant other
  • Break up of an important long term relationship
  • Sexual harassment and/or sexual assault ( )
  • Legal and/or financial problems
  • Life-threatening accident and/or injuries



Helping in Non-emergency Situations

Your friends may have little knowledge or prejudice about seeking help, and may fear being stigmatized. Point out that there is a wide range of mental health issues and that all kinds of problems, big or small, can be addressed. Asking for help when needed is a sign of strength.

When you are talking with someone who needs help, keep in mind that:

  • Given that this may be a difficult and long conversation, try to spare some time and have a private place.
  • Calmly and shortly, begin by describing the specific behaviors that have raised your concern.
    For example, “You haven’t been to classes for a week, is everything all right?”, I’ve noticed that you’ve been upset lately?”, I can’t help but noticed that your drinking/drug use is extraordinary and I want to help you.” etc.
  • Listen her/him carefully without judgement and telling her/him what to do. Be supportive and encouraging.
  • If she/he rejects your help or is not interested in getting help right now, make it clear for her/him that you are available in case.
  • Talk about the importance of getting psychological help but do not push them, leave the door open. People may need time to think and the decision is up to them.
  • If they do not want to talk, don’t take it personally. They may not be ready. 
  • Tell her/him that İstanbul Bilgi University Psychological Counseling Unit is working on confidential basis and free for students and personnel. Tell her/him about our website and brochures. (see.
  • Given that you are not a mental health expert, try not to shoulder the responsibility on your own. Remember that you are there to listen. 

If you are not sure what to do, reach us to get support!