U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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.

“Tell me how you are feeling. I’m here to support and listen to you.”

“I’m worried about you. I think you may need to talk to a doctor about depression.”

“Let me remind you of all the great things I love about you.”

“I really like to spend time with you. Let’s take a walk or go to a movie together.”

Offer hope.

“You aren't alone. Many people suffer from depression, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Depression is an illness that 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 medicine and talk therapy. Getting active 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 psychologist or social worker.”

“Get help right away if you are having hopeless thoughts or are thinking about hurting yourself. Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).”

“You can call or text me anytime if you need support or you just want to talk.”

Depression: Conversation starters

Content last updated on:
April 28, 2015