Depression can be hard to talk about. But if a friend or loved one is depressed, having a conversation about getting help can make a big difference. Use these tips to start talking.
Show you care.
- “How are you feeling? I’m here to listen to you and support you.”
- “I’m concerned about you. I think you may need to talk to someone about depression. I want you to get the help you need to feel better.”
- “Let me tell you all the things I love about you.”
- “I'd really like to spend more time with you. Let’s take a walk, grab something to eat, or go to a movie.”
- “You're not alone. Many people suffer from depression – it's nothing to be ashamed of.”
- “Depression can be treated. Getting help is the best thing you can do.”
- “Most people get better with treatment – even people who have severe depression.”
- “There are different ways to treat depression, including therapy and medicine. Getting more physical activity might also help you feel better.”
Offer to help.
- “Let me help you figure out what’s going on. You can start by making an appointment with your doctor – or I can help you find someone else to talk to, like a counselor, therapist, or social worker.”
- “I can give you a ride to your therapy appointment or remind you to take your medicine.”
- “You can call or text me at any time if you need support – or if you just want to talk.”
Ask life-saving questions.
- “Have you felt hopeless or thought about hurting yourself recently? I'm here for you. Let's call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).”
Content last updated July 24, 2020
This information on depression was adapted from materials from the National Institute of Mental Health.
National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health