Counsellors Blog: How you can support somebody in managing and recovering from depression

With statistics highlighting One in Four people in the UK each year will experience a mental health problem, there is a possibility that person may be someone close to you.

With that thought in mind how can we give support to someone we may know in managing and recovering from depression?

Family and friends can play a very important role, here are four ways that supporting someone may be of help:

1.Provide reassurance and openness in encouraging them to talk about their depression and difficult emotions, simply listening and giving someone space to share their experiences can make someone feel less alone and isolated. Keeping in touch and letting them know you are thinking about them can make a positive difference to how someone feels when they may be struggling to have the energy to keep in touch.

2. Give encouragement in supporting them to get help for themselves and consider what feels right for them.

3. Be mindful of criticism and pressure.  Whilst it may be difficult to understand depression if you haven’t experienced it, telling someone to ‘pull themselves together’ and ‘snap out of it’ isn’t realistic and can feel critical and harsh when functioning is already a difficulty.  Provide support that is balanced, offering help but encouraging goals in taking care and doing things for themselves that give focus to small steps and motivation.

4. Be caring to yourself.  Taking care of your own mental health is important too when managing the emotional strain that can impact on your wellbeing.

-Written by Debbie Vaille, Westmeria Counsellor 

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