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How to help a mate struggling with depression

August 20, 2019

So your friend has been diagnosed with depression. You’re wondering what you can do and how you can help.

Firstly, it’s important to remember offering support to a friend suffering from depression is no easy feat. What’s fundamental is to take care of yourself along the way as helping can become overwhelming, difficult, and exhausting. There a few things to consider if you’re wondering how you can help.

1. Educate yourself

First and foremost, it’s essential you have an understanding of what depression is including what the symptoms are, what the treatment is and what professional support systems are available. The Oxford Dictionary defines depression as “a mental condition characterised by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically
also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt…”(2019). In understanding depression, you can begin to empower yourself with the necessary knowledge you need to know if your friend is suffering from depression and how you can help.

2. Support systems

As important as it is for someone facing depression to have the help of friends and family, there are many support systems that can be accessed that offer professional treatment. Organisations such as Thinking Families based in Paddington, Queensland offers services to effectively address, treat and help someone suffering from depression. Founded by Mental Health Social Worker and Family Therapist Glenn Munt, Thinking Families is an example of a support system that can help depressed individuals so they can access the clinical help they need.

3. Look after yourself

Whilst you may want to do all you can to help a friend suffering from depression, it’s vital you take care of your own health and wellbeing. It can be difficult, emotionally taxing and physically draining to help someone facing depression. That’s why it’s important you look after yourself by investing in your own well-being through exercise and mindfulness activities so you can remain healthy, stable and balanced. If you have any concerns about a friend’s mental health, Thinking Families can offer you the professional help, guidance and advice you and your friend need in order to address and treat depression in the best way possible.

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