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  • Patricia Silva, LPC

How to Help Your Depressed Friend

Many of us know someone who seems to be struggling with lack of motivation and consistent low mood. They may have been clinically diagnosed with depression or simply going through a very difficult season of life. When the people we love are suffering, most of us want to help, but don’t know how. Here are a few tips for effective support:

1. Be present – whether in person, via phone call, facetime, or texts, show yourself available to them. Fight the urge to offer instant solutions or to just “cheer them up”, simply express how much they mean to you and bear through the uncomfortableness of sitting with them in their pain.

2. Listen – ask how they are feeling. It is okay if you don’t relate or understand. You can be honest and say, “I don’t really know what to say, but I’m here for you” or “That sounds really hard”. Nonjudgmental listening helps them feel loved even when they’re not their “bubbly happy” selves.

3. Support – encourage them to seek professional help. A lot of people don’t realize they need or can benefit from seeking a counselor until someone brings that up. For some people, it can be helpful if you offer to help them find a counselor, or even drive them to their first appointment.

4. Most importantly, pray! Never underestimate the power of prayer in the life of your loved ones. Many people who are struggling with depression also struggle to talk to God themselves. Intercede on their behalf, and ask the Lord to bring them comfort and healing during this difficult time.

We know walking alongside someone with depression or other mental illnesses can be difficult. We're hear to help - both you and your loved ones!

Patricia De Carvalho e Silva, M.A., LPC

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