- Spend time with them
- Listen rather than talk – let them tell you how it is for them
- Learn about depression - how it is treated and what you can do to help recovery
- See yourself as part of their support team
- Understand how depression is affecting their daily life
- Help the person to recognise and find ways of dealing with things that are worrying them
- Help and encourage them to lead a healthy life, to exercise and to do things they enjoy
- Support and encourage them to keep getting whatever support or treatment is offered
- Take any thoughts of suicide seriously – it’s okay to talk about it. Don’t leave someone alone if they feel unsafe. Contact a health care provider or a crisis phone line.
- Tell them to 'snap out of it' or 'harden up'. People cannot 'will' themselves better from moderate or severe depression
- Encourage excess alcohol and drug use as a coping strategy - it can make things worse
- Avoid them – they already feel isolated and this can make their depression worse
- Assume the problem will just go away
- Judge or criticise them for what they’re going through
- Lose hope - they need you to believe they will get through this
- Give unhelpful advice – for example, 'just think of people who are worse off’.