Mental Health: 7 Ways You Can Help A Friend Going Through Depression

Depressed woman: Image from

Depression lingers everywhere in our society. One wrong turn and you find yourself in “a sunken place”. This is the reality of the world we live in. It’s becoming more important to take care of our mental health. In Kenya, about 40% of in-patients suffer from a mental disorder with the highest numbers being in cosmopolitan towns and one in four people go through depression at least once in their life. You probably know someone suffering from depression. If you do, here are ways to help them.

  1. Recognize The Issue

Many people brush off depression as an exaggeration, attention-seeking or stress. However, depression and other mental diseases are as real as any physical illness. It’s also common for people not to discuss depression issues with friends and family due to the stigma around the topic.

Mental illness is also not obvious. There are ways you can tell if your friend is going through depression such as anger, disinterest, negativity and low self-esteem.

  1. Listen

The Englishmen say, “a problem shared is a problem half solved.” Sometimes, saying the right things is saying nothing at all and letting the person vent to you. Just by listening, gives the person reassurance knowing someone heard them.

  1. Be There

People going through depression tend to cancel plans and prefer remaining indoors. This is not the time to isolate that friend as it may lead the person to feel more alone. Make yourself available to them whenever they call. Even when they don’t reach out, visit them at home and be present.

Additionally, if your friend has gone through a stressful situation, check up on them and support them through these hard times.

  1. Encourage Activity

Try and get them out of the house and do engage in uplifting activities such as bike riding, walks or going to the movies. This may help them see the world from a different perspective and start thinking positively. Exercising is also linked to helping deal with depression since it boosts your self-confidence. Read our article on 5 Reasons Why You Need To Have A Daily Workout Routine.

  1. Speak Positively

Keep your conversations with this friend positive. The last thing they want to hear is more bad news. Keeping things positive doesn’t mean you talk about all the good things in your life by showing them that life is going well can encourage them to stay positive.

  1. Learn About Depression

Educate yourself about the symptoms, causes and how to help in recovery. This helps you avoid digging a deeper hole by doing the wrong things.

  1. Seek Help

If you notice your friend is on the extreme end of their depression, contact a medical professional who will assist you. Regardless, it is important to take a mental health day whether or not you’re suffering from any kind of mental illness. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Therefore, you should ensure that you’re in a good mental state since depression is contagious.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts or feeling depressed or know someone going through depression, contact who are on standby to listen and assist you.

Read on How To Cope With Depression

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