Depression 101

How to help


You may be concerned about yourself, or about a friend or family member. Encouraging someone to get support, helping them connect with a service or resource and/or becoming an advocate are all ways to help. While there are barriers, it’s important to know what services and supports are available.

Although friends and family can’t replace professional treatment, offering practical and emotional support can make a big difference in someone’s life. Going with the person to a doctor’s appointment, picking up the children after school or making a meal with the person a few times a week are all ways to help. Emotional support can include regular phone calls and meetings to see how the person is feeling, and to encourage them to stay in treatment (MDSC, n.d.-b).

Remember that people must consent to treatment, and that their treatment will be most effective when they participate willingly. If a person is in crisis, they should be encouraged to go to their nearest emergency department. If they are unwilling to go and you are concerned, you should call 911.