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Supporting Someone with Depression

Supporting a loved one with depression can be a painful and emotionally draining experience. Depression doesn’t just affect one person—it also affects those around them. Oftentimes, friends and family feel lost. They want to help, but they don’t know where to begin.

The Supporting Someone with Depression worksheet describes several practical and meaningful ways to support someone who is battling depression. Tips include providing social support, encouraging professional help, supporting healthy habits, and more.

When working with the family and friends of someone with depression, this handout can give guidance. You may also choose to provide basic education about depression using the What is Depression? info sheet.

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1. Langlands, R. L., Jorm, A. F., Kelly, C. M., & Kitchener, B. A. (2008). First aid for depression: a Delphi consensus study with consumers, carers and clinicians. Journal of Affective Disorders, 105(1-3), 157-165.

2. Murphy, H. (2018, June 07). What to Do When a Loved One Is Severely Depressed. Retrieved from

3. Rossetto, A., Jorm, A. F., & Reavley, N. J. (2014). Quality of helping behaviours of members of the public towards a person with a mental illness: a descriptive analysis of data from an Australian national survey. Annals of General Psychiatry, 13(1), 2.

4. Steger, M. F., & Kashdan, T. B. (2009). Depression and everyday social activity, belonging, and well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(2), 289.

5. Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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