Find your words to help someone with depression
For someone living with depression or another mental health condition, supportive friends and family members can make all the difference. You can’t take your loved one’s depression away, but you can give them support, encouragement, and hope. For a person living with mental health issues, simply knowing that they’re not alone can make a big difference.
If a friend or family member is showing signs of a mental health problem — or if they reach out to you for help — respond with thoughtful compassion. Remember that it can be hard for a person to express how they feel, especially if they’re trying to discuss their mental state. They may find it scary to share something so personal and complicated, even if you’re close to them.
The most meaningful things you can do are to be present, listen, and show that you care. Don’t try to give advice — just help them feel heard, understood, and accepted.
Here are other ways you can offer your support:*
- Let them know you’re there for them.
- Listen with an open mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Include them in your plans — even if they resist your invitations, let them know they’re always welcome.
- Remind them that help is available and that mental health problems can be treated.
- Find out if they’re getting help for their condition — if not, offer to help them find a good therapist, counseling group, or whatever support they need.
- Learn about mental health and encourage others to do the same. Understanding the facts about mental health problems can help break down barriers and open the way for positive conversations.
- Treat people who have mental health problems with respect, compassion, and empathy.
Being open to talking about mental health is essential. People who feel like they can talk about their struggle to someone they trust are more likely to seek help. When silence ends, healing can begin.
Find more resources to support someone you care about who’s living with depression.
TOPICSbehavioral healthDepressionMental Health and Wellnessrelationships