- HELP THE
PERSON TO FIND OUT WHAT THEIR MENTAL ILLNESS IS AND GET TREATMENT: Go with your
loved one to clinic, doctor or counsellor to find out what is wrong.
out if there are any support groups in your area. Sharing fears, worries and
feelings with other people who are in the same situation helps.
- LEARN ABOUT
THE MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS: Depression is a disease. Learn about the
illness. The more you know, the more you can help your loved one.
- CARE AND
SUPPORT YOU LOVED ONE: Being with family and friends is very
important for the person to get better. Always tell the person that you care
and love them. Look at the good things in loved ones.
- LET THE
PERSON BE PART OF YOUR LIFE AND EVENTS: Invite your loved one
to come with you and the rest of the family for walks, church and other
activities you would normally do. Encourage your loved one to join in fun
activities – both new events and things that the person enjoyed before they got
- DON’T FORCE
THE DEPRESSED PERSON TO CHEER UP: Depressed people have REAL feelings.
The depressed person can’t just feel better. They are not weak or lazy.
- LISTEN! Listen to
what your loved one says. Most depressed people want someone to listen to them.
DO NOT leave the person out of family discussions because you think that it
would be less stressful for them if they are not involved. Treat the person as
normally as possible. Ask the person what they hope, fear, feel and need.
- SUPPORT: Support is
very important – tell the person that asking for help is a sign of strength.
Remind your loved one that he can always get treatment for his illness. Remind
the depressed person that they WILL recover in time.
- DON’T’ TREAT
YOUR LOVED ONE LIKE A CHILD: Remember that the depressed person is not
feeling their best and try to help out where you can. Don’t try to do
everything for the depressed person – it is good for the person to do some
things for themselves.
- SUICIDE: If your loved one or
friend talks about having thoughts of suicide, take it seriously and ask for
help straight away.