How to Help a Friend or Loved One

Learn as much as you can about living with depression, anxiety, other mental health issues or suicide will help prepare you to support someone living with these issues.  You don't have to fix their problems. By just being someone who listens with compassion, you can make a difference!

There are three steps to helping. Know what questions to ask, listen to show that you care and encourage people to get help. Here are some suggestions:


  • Ask about how bad their situation is and what they have been thinking about
  • Ask if they are thinking of killing themselves
  • Ask if they have taken anything; consumed alcohol, taken drugs or any medication
  • Ask if they have already taken steps toward killing themselves/suicide
  • Ask if they have a diagnosed mental illness


  • Find out what has brought them to their present state of mind
  • Find out who else knows about what's been happening with them
  • Listen to find out what pressures and pain they are experiencing
  • Listen without arguing or making judgements about their situation


  • Encourage them to talk to a professional or attend a support group
  • Find out what can be done to relieve the pressure
  • Let them know there is help for people who are feeling overwhelmed 
  • Get their agreement to take a first step toward getting help
  • Help them make a call to talk to a Physician, Helpline or Counsellor

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