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.”
- “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:
- Dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care
- Crisis Text Line: Text BAY to 741741 (Anyone can send a message! Kids, teens, and adults)
- Star Vista’s Crisis Hotline: 650.579.0350
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-8255
- Uplift Mobile Crisis Team: (408) 379-9085 / toll-free (877) 412-7474
- Alum Rock Mobile Crisis: 408.294.0579
- Lifeline Crisis Chat: crisischat.org
- OnYourMind Teen Chat (M-Th, 4:30-9:30 pm): onyourmind.net
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an initial Consultation appointment.