The following comes from "Be A People Person," by John Maxwell:
What can you do to help people with their problems? First of all, encourage them to face their problems. Too often people would rather flee them, fight them, or forget them. Second, encourage them to solve their problems. Use the following acronym to teach yourself to help other people with difficulties.
Tell them it takes time.
Expose yourself to their problems in order to relate to them.
Assure them of your confidence in them.
Creatively show them how to deal with their problems.
Hope offered to them through the process.