My friend (and housemate) is suffering with their mental health and it’s affecting me

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Anonymous #1
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So I’m living with my closest friends in a house at uni (2nd year). There’s 3 of us and one of my friends is suffering with their mental health and feeling very suicidal and it’s only getting worse. We’ve reached out to the uni for support and the gp but it’s all very slow and not much help has been given. They don’t want to go home to their family as they feel it will make their mental health worse. This means the two of us are left looking after them with everything, getting them out of bed and encouraging them to get showered, making food, we can’t leave them alone at risk they’ll harm themselves (which they’ve done before), we’ve tried to take everything away that they could use to harm themselves because they talk about killing themselves a lot and they’ve always been very reliant on us anyway, a bit like a child at times and has never been one to help themselves in anyway but now we’re basically carers, and they seem completely unaware about our own needs. I don’t want to be insensitive because I can’t imagine what they’re going through and I want them to get better because they mean so much to me! But me and my other friend are feeling so low and trapped and this covid lockdown isn’t helping at all, it’s got to the stage where we’re struggling to do our work and sleep ourselves but we don’t know what to do, it’s too much for us to deal with. We spoke to them the other day about possibly going home but we ended up calling 111 because it pushed them so far we we’re really worried for their safety. I just don’t know what to do, I want to just leave but I wouldn’t do that to either of my friends! Any advice on what to do? Sorry I know this is long!
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hillarious_cow
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So I’m living with my closest friends in a house at uni (2nd year). There’s 3 of us and one of my friends is suffering with their mental health and feeling very suicidal and it’s only getting worse. We’ve reached out to the uni for support and the gp but it’s all very slow and not much help has been given. They don’t want to go home to their family as they feel it will make their mental health worse. This means the two of us are left looking after them with everything, getting them out of bed and encouraging them to get showered, making food, we can’t leave them alone at risk they’ll harm themselves (which they’ve done before), we’ve tried to take everything away that they could use to harm themselves because they talk about killing themselves a lot and they’ve always been very reliant on us anyway, a bit like a child at times and has never been one to help themselves in anyway but now we’re basically carers, and they seem completely unaware about our own needs. I don’t want to be insensitive because I can’t imagine what they’re going through and I want them to get better because they mean so much to me! But me and my other friend are feeling so low and trapped and this covid lockdown isn’t helping at all, it’s got to the stage where we’re struggling to do our work and sleep ourselves but we don’t know what to do, it’s too much for us to deal with. We spoke to them the other day about possibly going home but we ended up calling 111 because it pushed them so far we we’re really worried for their safety. I just don’t know what to do, I want to just leave but I wouldn’t do that to either of my friends! Any advice on what to do? Sorry I know this is long!
Hi,

Hope you are doing well in these challenging circumstances, I think the first piece of advice to give you, is you need to understand that this isn't your fault and even as a friend there's only so much you can do. You sound like an amazing and caring person and I am sure if you had to you would continue to be doing as brilliantly as you but again you need to encourage the person to take control of their own life again which is the primary goal and so in order to do that I would say a combined kind of approach of encouraging your friend to open and talk about the root causes of what causing them to feel this way while also encouraging them to confront the situations that are making them act like they are which hopefully should slowly help them gain their own independence back. I would say that it is probably going to be a slow process but I think working together you can make it easier for both you and the other person. Furthermore, if this approach doesn't work then although it may seem like the harsher reality you would either have to consider encouraging them to talk to a family member or another trusted person if you don't feel like their reliance on you and your friend is getting better with time.

Hope this helps
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