How to talk to someone about depression...
- Show concern. Tell him or her that you are concerned
and want to help. You can say that you've noticed symptoms that might
indicate depression, and ask if they have noticed these or other symptoms
- Encourage him or her to see a doctor. Emphasize that
depression is a medical illness. Make it clear that it isn't their fault
and that treatment is available. Tell them that they need to see a doctor
for a depression screening and offer to go with them to the appointment.
Do whatever you can to persuade them to get medical help.
- Ask about suicidal thoughts. They need to be asked,
either by you or a medical professional, if they have had any suicidal
thoughts. If yes, a comprehensive suicide risk assessment needs to be
Remember that the best help you can give someone who may
is encouragement to seek professional help.
Things to keep in mind
if someone you know or love has depression...
- Be understanding. Realize that depression is an
illness that can affect moods and behavior. Effective treatment can
change problem behaviors.
- Don't blame yourself. You are not responsible for
a loved one's depression anymore than you are responsible for someone's
cancer or heart disease.
- Be supportive. Offer to help during the treatment
process. Accompany them to appointments and be available to listen if/when
they feel like talking. Learn more about depression and its treatment.
Funded by a
grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Distributed by the Minnesota Department of Health