Helping Someone with Depression
Dr Mariposa's A-E of Helping Someone with Depression
Last month we were asked by Grazia magazine to contribute to a super important topic - depression, specifically in men, and how we can get better at talking to our friends and loved ones in need.
Whilst we are becoming increasingly open to talk ‘about’ depression and mental health more broadly, the fact remains that for most of us talking ‘to’ those who may need our support can feel daunting and confusing. We’re fearful of saying the ‘wrong’ thing or just plain uncomfortable with knowing how to navigate those difficult conversations and how best to offer our support.
The brilliant Dr Barbara Mariposa, Mental Health Lead here at Work Well Being, shared her expert guidance and advice. Dr Mariposa suggests that ‘you will never know what it’s really like to be someone else. So if someone is depressed, why don’t you start by simply asking them how you can help’?
What follows is Dr Mariposa's A - E of helping someone with Depression.
A - E of Helping Someone with Depression.
A Address it, Ask them about it, Challenge your own Assumptions and move to a place of Acceptance.
B Be there, and listen. The power of having someone unconditionally non-judgmentally present with you can be life saving.
C Care and be Consistent. Care by doing practical things. The cleaning, the shopping, walk the dog. This removes the burden of what are seemingly impossible tasks.
D Direct them towards help. Don’t be scared to suggest that they visit a professional. And Divide the load too, don’t take it all upon yourself.
E Encourage and Empower. This isn’t the same as ‘chin up, don’t worry’, it is more ‘you’re not alone’, ‘I’m here for you’, ‘I care for you’, ‘I want to help’, ‘You have what it takes to get through this’, ‘You’re stronger than you think’