BOSTON—In an effort to educate Americans on the common warning signs, mental health experts at Boston University issued a report Thursday noting that friends giving away their possessions was often a red flag that they’re planning on moving. “If you have a friend who has attempted to pass off objects like a bulky bookshelf or rickety night stand, it could suggest that the person may be headed in the direction of signing a new lease,” said lead researcher Sandra Maiworm, urging Americans to keep an eye out for loved ones suddenly trying to part with their coffee maker or blender, or making seemingly innocuous comments about being unable to attend any block parties after the end of the month. “Once a person reaches the stage where they’re giving away personal items, it suggests that they’re pretty far along in the process. They’ve probably been feeling for months like they just can’t take their landlord anymore, and it’s distinctly possible that they have already researched online about the most painless and effective ways to hire movers. Please, talk to them and find out what’s going on in their life so you don’t knock on the door of their apartment one day and find out they’re already gone.” Maiworm added that direct communication was key despite many people’s reluctance to broach the subject out of fear that it might lead their friend to ask for help moving their couch.

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