Shine a Light on Depression


Shining a Light on Depression with Dr B

Dr Barbara Mariposa joined us at Mindshare on 13th April to Shine a Light On Depression. Here you can discover a summary of that talk, covering how to look after your own wellbeing, spot the signs that someone close to you may be struggling and how to best support them. 

Key Messages about Mental Illness

Let’s Talk About It - we all need to connect, communicate and care to be well

Say No to Stigma - mental illness is no different from physical illness

We Are Not Broken - recovery is normal since people heal, learn and grow

Supporting Yourself to be Well

Remember the Basics - regular exercise, good nutrition and hydration, enough sleep are the basic essentials of wellbeing

Do Things You Love to do Regularly - for no reason other than they feel good, especially things involve other people

Social Support - nurture a few worthwhile friendships where there is mutual care, trust and respect

Positive Environment - aim to work in a positive environment where you play to your strengths and are appreciated, supported and valued

Health is Other People - if you feel rough, talk to someone you trust. Don’t keep it to yourself

Spotting Distress

Depression can be hard to spot because we wear a protective mask. It’s a lonely, isolated place.

Our greatest asset in spotting distress in others is empathy, allowing ourselves to feel what it feels like to be in someone else's shoes, without judgement. It’s an innate ability we all have.

You may notice changes in:

Cognitive Abilities -  to remember, make decisions, focus, feel motivated

Mood - tearful, flat, agitated, pessimistic, hopeless, worthless

Behaviour - withdrawn, eating less or more, addictive patterns, slowed down, excess or poor sleep

Supporting Others

You already have the skills it takes to reach out to someone you think may depressed: 

Ask simple questions without judgement because you want to listen to the answer

Be honest, respectful and be yourself. This is a normal person like you or me

Don’t try to fix people, or offer advice. A simple gesture of kindness makes all the difference

Genuine care will never harm. Distance and judgement can

If you feel out of your depth, suggest the person seek expert help

For further advice and support on depression, or any other mental illness, the MIND website is a great source of knowledge and advice - 

For more information on Dr B and her work, including her book, you can discover more on her website -


Louise Padmore