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Tips for helping loved ones cope with depression

Helping someone with depression can be a challenge. When someone you know and love is experiencing depression or anxiety, you may feel helpless and wonder what to do. While it's never easy to face depression, you can learn how to support and help your loved one get the resources to cope.

If you notice your loved one withdrawing from others, spending time alone, crying a lot or spending several days in bed, these are good indicators that they are dealing with depression and it is likely time to seek professional help.   

As a licensed psychologist at the Allina Health Nicollet Mall clinic, I can tell you there are many things you can do if you are concerned about a loved one's mental health. While you can't control the other person, there are a few ways you can offer your love and support.


Let them know that you care about them and that you are concerned.

Dialogue tips:
"You are not alone."
"You are important to me."


Ask them what they need from you or how you can help.

Dialogue tips:
"We'll get through this together."
"I can't really understand what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion and support."
"Do you need a hug?"


Ask them when it is a good time to have a conversation.

Dialogue tips:
"I'm here to talk or just listen whenever you need me."
"Can you tell me more about your experience?"


Most importantly, it is important to keep in mind that they may not want advice, but might need you to just listen or be there for them. It's important to show compassion and try to be patient with them. It's a process to overcome depression and anxiety. 

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