Occasionally during events or in conversation, I’m asked how to help someone with depression. I’ve been on both sides of this dynamic throughout my life — as the “supporter” and “supported” — and wish to share what I understand are effective and compassionate approaches.
Helping a loved one through an emotional crisis is daunting. Equally, asking for support can feel impossible when in the eye of the storm. With that in mind, this guide is for everyone affected. Perhaps someone you know is struggling and you want to educate yourself. Perhaps you’re struggling and you’d like a resource to give to a loved one.
Either way, I’m hopeful the following framework increases understanding, sharpens communication, and offers clarity around this complex interpersonal relationship. I write from a place of deep appreciation for my support system. This article is dedicated to the words of encouragement, empathy, compassion and humour that has supported, and continues to support, my journey.