What Should I Say to Someone Who Is Depressed?
An estimated 280 million people struggle with depression, according to the World Health Organization, which makes it one of the leading illnesses across the globe.
Learning what to say can open up a meaningful conversation about mental health, and help someone who is struggling understand that they are not alone.
Validate their feelings and listen
When you actively listen, repeat what they’re telling you — in your own words — back to them, to communicate that you understand and are engaged in the conversation.
Ask them what they need
Rather than jump to solutions after someone has told you that they’re depressed or struggling to cope, ask them what they might need.
Remind them of ways to get help
Just like a physical condition, mental health conditions can be treated with an array of treatments, from professional counseling to self-care and medication.
Do not dismiss or make light of their feelings
“It’s also best not to try to encourage them to ‘snap out of it,’ as people say that that feels really invalidating and they feel like the other person doesn't really understand
It’s not always evident that someone is struggling with depression, so don’t assume that someone is okay because they seem okay on the outside.
Try to have these conversations in-person
It’s OK to have these conversations over text or on the phone, but it’s so beneficial to talk face-to-face.
Know what resources are available
Therapy can significantly help individuals navigate depression, anxiety, or any mental health condition, and alleviate some of their symptoms.
An extremely important resource is the new suicide and crisis hotline number. Call or text 988, or chat 988hotline.org for immediate help.
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