Suggest professional help if needed. Aside from that, be there for them. Take a genuine interest in them and show such without undue prying in their personal life. However if they want to talk, let them, and be an attentive listener. Don't offer advice unless solicited. Other things that you can also do is take them shopping, to a movie or some other interesting outing.
Thank you FF for answering this question. Great suggestions!!
Their are a few ways to help someone with depression. First Be supportive this means not dismissing the problem as all in their head. Know the facts According to the The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/)
* Approximately 20.9 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder.1,2
* The median age of onset for mood disorders is 30 years.5
* Depressive disorders often co-occur with anxiety disorders and substance abuse.5
Major Depressive Disorder
* Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.3
* Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.1, 2
* While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5
* Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.6
Other resources include:
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness www.nami.org/
Wing of Madness http://www.wingofmadness.com/
Help your friend get help you can use The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Mental Health Services Locator http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/
They also have a Mental Health Links page http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/links/default2.asp
Take care of your own Mental Health people with depression can "bring down" people around them (I have this problem myself) Remember a smile can be contagious as can laughter.
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