5 Ways to Emotionally Support Someone Who May be Suffering from Depression

by Dennis Kim

In Canada, 11% of Men and 16% of Women will experience major depression in their life.

There are many different reasons someone may experience depression such as a traumatic event like a car accident, loss of a relationship or job, genetic condition, medication, and more.

If someone you know is currently suffering from depression you may be asking yourself how you can be supporting them emotionally.

In contrast to first aid injuries such as a cut, lending help to someone with depression can be unclear.

That’s why we’ve listed five different ways you can lend emotional support to someone suffering from depression.

1. Sit

It may seem like an obvious answer, but the simple act of sitting down with someone can be an incredibly soothing experience for people suffering from depression. Knowing that someone is there to take the time to be with you at the moment lets the person know that they are not alone in this. This can be done in silence but also while communicating.

2. Active Listening

In union with sitting down, active listening and communicating with the person calmly and collectively can allow the person to fully express themselves. This means actively observing what verbal and non-verbal messages are being sent by the person and giving feedback where appropriate. This allows the person to feel validated and supported in their current state.

3. Change of Environment

Many people with depression will isolate themselves away from others. Although this can be a way to self-soothe and protect themselves this can also lead them further down the spiral of depression. One way to help with this is to invite the individual out to change their environment. This can be as simple as going for a small walk, getting a coffee, or inviting them to your place. Many times, individuals with depression will be willing to change their environment if they’re accompanied by someone they trust.

4. Remind Them of Who They Are

Depression can change people's views of themselves. This means it can be hard to remember the person they once were or how others perceive them. You can encourage them to change their view of themselves by reminding the person of positive memories of their past such as the personal successes they have experienced. This can then boost their confidence and self-image.

5. Research Emotional Support

The spread of mental health awareness has done a great job at reducing the stigma around seeking professional help. Alongside the spread of awareness, there has also been an increase in available resources for people seeking help. If the person suffering from depression is willing to seek help, researching places of support as well as potentially accompanying them can be of benefit to them.

Remember that there isn’t one answer to help someone suffering from depression. Each person’s experience of depression is unique to them, and the effectiveness of the different ways of support varies from person to person. However, simply showing initiative and the willingness to be there for someone emotionally shows the individual that they are not alone in this.

For more mental health tips and first aid training visit our course page

Stat: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/diseases/mental-health-depression.html