How to help someone with depression

Caring for someone with depression or anxiety can be challenging. Although every personal experience is unique, there are aspects of the role that are common to many carers.

Things you can do to help someone with depression or anxiety:

  • Let the person know if you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour.
  • Spend time talking with the person about their experiences and let them know that you’re there to listen without being judgmental.
  • Suggest the person see a doctor or health professional and/or help them to make an appointment.
  • Offer to go with the person to the doctor or health professional.
  • Help the person to find information about depression and anxiety from a website or library.
  • Encourage the person to try to get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy food.
  • Discourage the person from using alcohol or other drugs to feel better.
  • Encourage friends and family members to invite the person out and keep in touch, but don’t pressure the person to participate in activities.
  • Encourage the person to face their fears with support from their doctor/psychologist.

    It would be unhelpful to:

  • put pressure on the person by telling them to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘get their act together’
  • stay away or avoid them
  • tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
  • pressure them to party more or wipe out how they’re feeling with drugs and alcohol.

Apr, 07, 2015