A friend in need can be a difficult thing to see, and knowing how to help a depressed friend can be of great benefit during more difficult times. As part of the Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme of relationships, we’ve found some expert advice and personal stories to give inspiration and guidance.
Knowing the symptoms
Recognising the symptoms of depression can help pave the way towards a friend broaching the subject with you. Even if you’ve experienced depression yourself, the symptoms can vary from person to person. There is also a distinct contrast between self-care and helping others.
Link [via Help Guide]
Talking about it
There is a huge difference between approaching your friend to talk to them about concerns you may have about their mental health and your friend approaching you. Whilst the following guide is aimed at university students, the advice it gives regarding initial conversations and what to do afterwards is fantastic and comprehensive.
Link [via Student Minds]
Symptoms and diagnoses are easy to research, but personal experience can sometimes be overlooked. Talking about depression can be a difficult conversation to start for those who need help or support. Mental health organisations Mind and Rethink Mental Illness have put together a “Start your mental health conversation” guide, complimented by personal stories and videos.
Link [via Time to Change]
Knowing your role
Supporting someone going through depression can take its toll, and it’s important to understand the symptoms of burnout so you can support your friend in the best way possible. Sometimes all that means is doing the everyday “friend stuff”, without the pressure to have an in-depth conversation about your friend’s current state of mental health.
“The best thing my friend did for me was that they just accepted me as I was.”
Link [via Mental Health]
If you require additional support or advice, a directory of mental health agencies can be found here.