Take them seriously
It can be a natural reaction to play down something scary. You might find yourself saying stuff like ‘it’s not that bad’, ‘you’ll feel better tomorrow’, or even ‘don’t be silly’.
It’s important to take someone seriously when they open up - whether it’s the first or fifteenth time they’ve spoken to you. Let them know you hear them, that you understand how much they’re struggling, and that they will get through this.
Try not to minimise what they’re going through, even if it sounds small-time to you. What might seem like a small setback - a failed exam, an argument with a mate - could feel like the final straw to them, or even be a way for your mate to finally express some of the tough feelings they’ve been having.