How can I help?

How can I help someone who is depressed?

If you have concerns about someone, our advisors at Breathing Space are here to listen and offer advice in confidence.

Encourage them to see a doctor

  • The most important things you can do are to listen and to help them arrange appropriate assessment and treatment.
  • You may need to make them an appointment and accompany them to the doctor.
  • Encourage them to stick with their treatment plan until symptoms begin to subside (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs.
  • You may have to monitor whether they are taking their medication.

Offer support

  • Offer emotional support and show understanding, patience, affection and encouragement.
  • Talk to them, listen carefully and do not ignore remarks about suicide.
  • Invite them out for walks, outings and other activities, being gently insistent if they refuse but not pushing them to undertake too much too soon.
  • Do not accuse them of faking illness or expect them "to snap out of it".

Keep reassuring them that with time and help, they will feel better.