I want to be helpful to a friend in crisis or just having a tough time. This article from an old issue of Real Simple Magazine by Emily Hsieh gives excellent advice on what to say, what not to say, and when to act.
From the article:
Saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” when a friend is in crisis…
“It’s a lovely sentiment, but it puts the onus on her to ask for help,” says Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist and the author of The Friendship Fix. You feel good—you offered!—and she feels too overwhelmed to remember that you did. If you have a friend dealing with a death in the family, a bedbug infestation, or even something joyful but hard—triplets!—take action. “Be specific, so they can simply say yes or no,” says Bonior.
Read the article – 43 Ways You’re Not Really Helping.