How to Help a Friend Who’s Cutting Themselves
How to Talk to a Friend Who's Depressed
Consider your relationship
If the person is a coworker or casual acquaintance, think about whether you know her well enough to intervene. Not sure? You may want to approach someone close to her and ask that person to say something.
If you start off by saying, "You seem depressed," the person may become defensive. Instead, ask what's bothering her or focus on what the trigger might be. For example, saying, "You seem really down about your divorce" can get the conversation going.
Let her talk as much as she needs to, and hold off on giving advice. After you've had a long conversation (or perhaps several shorter talks), gently suggest she seek help by emphasizing your amateur status. Say something like, "This is over my head; do you think it would be worthwhile to talk to a professional?"
Offer to help
If she's open to talking to a therapist, you can suggest the American Psychological Association's expert finder at locator.apa.org. If she's not interested, don't harp on it unless you're worried that she might harm herself. (In that case, call a doctor or get her to the emergency room—do not leave her alone.) But you should continue to show concern by checking in often and asking about what she's told you and how she's feeling.
Video: How to talk climate with your friend who's already given up
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