Depression - Information for family, carers and friends
Information for family, carers and friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
You could get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area or the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service can search for you.
You can ask your local authority for a carer’s assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
Supporting the person you care for
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self management skills. You can use this information to support and encourage them to get help and stay well.
If you want to support someone with depression, you might find it helpful to learn about symptoms, treatments and self help techniques. This way you may be able to encourage your loved one to take the steps they need to get well. Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support.
- Offer them emotional support, patience, affection and encouragement. Remember that depression is an illness and people cannot “pull themselves together”.
- Invite them out on walks, outings, and gentle activities. Encourage them to take part in activities that once gave them pleasure. However, try not to put too much pressure on them as not feeling able to engage in activities they used to enjoy can be a source of further unhappiness.
- Praise daily achievements.
- Encourage them to try self-help techniques and get further treatment if appropriate.
- Find out about self-help or support groups in the area.
Think about what you can do if you are worried about someone’s mental state or risk of self harm. It will help to keep details of their mental health team and discuss a crisis plan with them.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays