December 14, 2022

Friendship matters to mental health, well-being

The National Council for Mental Well-being states that friendship is something that individuals never outgrow, and no matter the age or what is happening, close, healthy friendships encourage positive mental health and well-being. Other mental health organizations also support this belief, and studies have shown that “those who enjoy close friendships over their teenage years have a lower rate of depression or anxiety later in life.”  

Six benefits of friendship, according to Healthline, are:

  • Less loneliness and social isolation
  • Reduced stress
  • Emotional support
  • Personal development
  • A sense of belonging
  • Support through challenges

More information can be found in the “6 Ways Friendship is Good for Your Health” article.

SupportLinc, the provider of behavioral health services for Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, also has information on the topic available, including:

National Call a Friend Day is recognized annually on Dec. 28 as a means to help friends stay connected with more than simply a text message. Days of the Week shares that voice-based communication is an important way to help people feel seen and heard, which can be especially important during the holiday season when anxiety and depression tend to affect many. 

Mental Health First Aid

Connecting with friends can result in an opportunity to support a friend who is going through a difficult time. For those who aren’t sure how to help or need guidance on how they can best support a friend in need, Mental Health First Aid courses are a great resource to learn more.

Purdue Extension offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to the campus community and across Indiana. Mental Health First Aid courses provide introductory education about several mental health issues. Mental Health First Aid courses then offer participants tools to assist someone in distress to seek professional help, as well as tools for self-care. These courses also raise awareness and challenge stigma associated with seeking help, and align with the behavioral health pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program.

Purdue Extension offers two versions (virtual and in-person) of Mental Health First Aid:

  • Adult (for adults who want to help other adults) and
  • Youth (for adults who want to help children and teens)

Courses for both adults and youth introduce common mental health challenges and contexts for the given age group, review safe action planning steps and cover topics such as anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use, suicidality and more.

Advance registration and online pre-work are required for Mental Health First Aid courses, and the cost to attend is $20. Each course has a limited class size, so early registration is encouraged. The next adult courses take place Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 as outlined below:

  • Jan. 26 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET via Zoom. Register by Jan. 12. More information is available here.
  • Jan. 27 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET at Bauer Family Resources, Lafayette. Register by Jan. 13. More information is available here

To learn more about course options, continuing education opportunities, featured stories and a list of all adult and youth courses, visit Check the website often for updated course listings as they become available.


To assist faculty and staff

Faculty and staff can review the “Mental Health Resources” webpage for a variety of available resources, which also support the behavioral health pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program, and information on Purdue’s health plan coverage for mental health and substance abuse.  

To assist students

Faculty and staff who work with students or have a student at home can direct them to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR) — medical plan provider for students and graduate students — offers 292 unique mental health providers serving at various locations that are in-network with UHCSR within Tippecanoe County. The list is available here. Additionally, students have access to HealthiestYou, which provides virtual access to mental health care as part of UHCSR’s plan. All services are free for students covered under the UHCSR insurance plan.   

Office of the Dean of Students

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

Faculty-Staff News

More News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-23 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at