Emergency Phone Numbers24-hr Crisis Lines: 855.278.4204 (Santa Clara) | 650.579.0350 (San Mateo) | 415.781.0500 (San Francisco) | 800.273.8255 or Text BAY to 741-741 (National)

Depression: Conversation Starters

Depression can be hard to talk about. But if a friend or loved one is depressed, having a conversation about getting help can make a big difference. Use these tips to start talking.

Show you care.

  • “How are you feeling? I’m here to listen to you and support you.”
  • “I’m concerned about you. I think you may need to talk to someone about depression. I want you to get the help you need to feel better.”
  • “Let me tell you all the things I love about you.”
  • “I’d really like to spend more time with you. Let’s take a walk, grab something to eat, or go to a movie.”

Offer hope.

  • “You’re not alone. Many people suffer from depression – it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
  • “Depression can be treated. Getting help is the best thing you can do.”
  • “Most people get better with treatment – even people who have severe depression.”
  • “There are different ways to treat depression, including therapy and medicine. Getting more physical activity might also help you feel better.”

Offer to help.

  • “Let me help you figure out what’s going on. You can start by making an appointment with your doctor – or I can help you find someone else to talk to, like a counselor, therapist, or social worker.”
  • “I can give you a ride to your therapy appointment or remind you to take your medicine.”
  • “You can call or text me at any time if you need support – or if you just want to talk.”

Ask life-saving questions.

  • “Have you felt hopeless or thought about hurting yourself recently? I’m here for you. Let’s call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).”
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion | Depression: Conversation starters, https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/everyday-healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationship/depression-conversation-starters | public domain. Content last updated June 2019

 Stress and Crisis Resources

For immediate assistance, the following resources are available 24/7 unless otherwise noted:


A screening can help you determine if you or someone you care about should contact a mental health professional. Clinical Services Coordinators can arrange a free 30 minute Care Consultation so you can explore options with an expert. Call or email our Clinical Services Coordinators at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org to set up an initial Consultation appointment.

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