How to Help
To help someone with depression, you must be able to recognize it. This illness can encompass a broad range of symptoms.1,2,4
Talking About Depression
Talking about depression with a friend or family member may be difficult initially; this feeling is normal. Start by finding the right time and place to talk about it. A calm environment such as a park, away from all work-related stress, may help to get the conversation off to a good start.
Offering Your Support
Although you cannot take the place of treatment recommended by a healthcare professional, you can have a positive influence on someone’s life by offering both practical and emotional support.
- Support may consist of accompanying the person to a doctor’s appointment, providing services such as picking up the children after school or extracurricular activities or taking the time to prepare a meal with the person a few times a week.
- Emotional support can include calls every evening to see how the person is feeling, a weekly coffee get-together to talk and encourage the person to stay with the treatment. Your emotional support can help the person to feel better.
Setting up a Support System
As a member of the person’s support system, your role is to encourage your friend or loved one to ask for help from a healthcare professional. Emphasize that it is important to talk to a doctor, because only healthcare professionals can diagnose depression.
Your role as a member of the support system is essential. Learn about current treatment issues and how to Talk about Depression with someone close to you
Taking Suicidal Thoughts Seriously
The risk of suicide increases in people with depression and it is important to take this risk very seriously.4 If you feel that you are giving up or feel you could harm yourself, GET HELP IMMEDIATELY.
- Call your doctor
- Go to the emergency room
- Call 911