How do I help a friend with depression?

When you see a friend struggling with depression, it’s natural to want to reduce their suffering. It can also be really tough to figure out what kind of support they need, and how you can help.

The Caraway Care Team

November 8, 2022

When you see a friend struggling with depression, it’s natural to want to reduce their suffering. It can also be really tough to figure out what kind of support they need, and how you can help. 

It may seem obvious, but just being present for your friend can make a big difference. You can spend time with them, be there to listen without judgment, and offer patience when they’re struggling. 

Encourage your friend to seek professional help; depression is a medical condition, and getting treatment like you would for any physical concern can make a big difference. You might suggest that they look into finding a therapist or psychiatrist. If they agree, you can offer to help them research providers or get to an appointment. 

Most importantly, don’t try to do it all on your own. If you have any concerns at all that your friend might be suicidal, or in danger of harming themselves, reach out for help right away. Whether you go to an RA, a guidance counselor, a mental health professional, or a suicide hotline, don’t keep it to yourself if any part of you thinks your friend could be at risk.

Remember that it’s also perfectly normal and understandable to think about how to take care of yourself even when you’re concerned about a friend. Being there for someone who’s struggling with mental health issues can be emotionally and physically draining, so it’s important to care for your own mental health in order to show up for others. Your Caraway Care Team is always here to help.

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