If someone tells you how they are feeling, listen!

If someone around you starts to talk about their mental or inner state, it doesn’t matter if you’re close to that person or not. Nor does it matter whether the conversation fits into your schedule. It is your duty as a fellow human being to listen. 

You do not, however, need to feel the pressure of having to say the right things or act the right way. Simply listening goes a long way. While they’re telling their story, use the time to take in what is being said, and try to understand. As a basis, try to keep in mind that the person you have in front of you probably has a perceived life that is very different from yours. Even if the context may seem similar. It’s thus important to be sensitive to that person’s perspective. Genuinely trying to share someone’s perceived situation for a moment can make a big difference.

If you’re unsure of what to say or do, you can always ask the question: 

I hear what you’re saying, and I'm really trying to understand, but I don’t know what to do.

Could you maybe guide me – what can I do that you would be most okay with?

Is there anyone else with whom I can share what you just told me so that we all can help getting the proper support?

Start from your own person, the person you have in front of you, and your relation to each other. Have faith in your capability. You are in this situation because someone close to you has decided to trust you. Think of it this way: Doing something is always better than doing nothing at all.