5. Lend a Hand
“You should get help!” sounds like the right thing to say. But when you’re depressed, a lot of your energy and thoughts are consumed.
You may not have the energy to get help or you may talk yourself out of needing help. When you want your friend to “get help” take the time to do your research and possibly recommend resources.
If you can do some of the heavy lifting, like calling a therapist and making an appointment or even driving your friend there, it may help them on the road to recovery.
Just be mindful that some friends may push back against this so it’s important to remember the next point.
6. Stay Present and Offer Encouragement
This one can be a bit tricky. Often times people with depression can hear encouragement and it doesn’t sink into their spirit.
The person can know people are there for them and it still doesn’t resonate. As a friend, your job is to keep staying present. Send those “just thinking of you” texts and calls.
Remind them it can and will get better. Keep reminding them of their great qualities and their ability to overcome this illness.
Don’t nag or harass, but sending love when you can and reminding them how much they matter can make a difference.
7. Be Patient
There won’t be an easy or quick solution to your friend’s depression. The best thing you can do is stay patient with the process.
There will be good days, breakthroughs, relapses and one day it will get better. However, impatience can be a sign to your friend that they are being a burden and you may push them into isolation.
8. Remind Them They are Not Alone
If you search Twitter or any social media platform, there are hundreds of people telling their story. Most recently the hashtag #noshameday shed light on seeking mental health treatment as many people told the story of their journey.
Remind your friend that they are not alone in this fight. See if you can connect them with other survivors and begin to form community.
Knowing you aren’t alone in this battle because you have support and you know other people who have gone through the same thing can make a big difference.
9. Call a Professional
If your friend is considering suicide or showing signs of suicidal behavior, call a professional. You can take them to a local hospital for mental health care or call the police to do a wellness check.
Take all threats of suicide seriously. You may not want to be the bad guy and report your friend to a professional but you would feel even worse if you stood by, did nothing, and lost your friend.
10. Remember Your Own Self Care
The tendency to throw yourself all-in to help your friend noble, but can lead to your own burn out. As we said before, you are not there to be a savior. When you feel drained it is okay to take a break.