Depression can feel like an endless tunnel of darkness, leaving you isolated and struggling to find your way out.

A person in a dark room looking out a large window. Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

But you don't have to navigate this journey alone. Reaching out to someone when you're experiencing depression can be a lifeline, offering support, understanding, and a glimmer of hope.

Open palms of two hands, with a yellow flower growing in between them. Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Learn how you can reach out to a friend, family member, or professional about your feelings of depression and take the first step toward getting better.

Step 1: Recognize the Need

A person sitting hunched over in a chair, appearing dejected. Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash

Acknowledging that you're dealing with depression is a significant first step. When you notice persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, it's a sign that it's time to seek help.

An icon of a person sitting on the floor looking down

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy

An icon of a moon and stars with blood shot eyes at the bottom

  • Change in sleep patterns (e.g., trouble falling/staying asleep or excessive sleep)

An icon of a person and a speech bubble with a crossed out apple in it.

  • Increase or decrease in appetite/weight

An icon of a person with a battery next to them indicating low charge

  • Fatigue and lack of energy

An icon of a person holding their head with coloured arrows and shapes emerging from it.

  • Difficulty concentrating

An icon of a person sitting on the ground with an 'X

  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

An icon of a person closing their eyes and lightning bolts striking their head, indicating a headache

  • Physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, stomach problems, pain)

An icon of a person sitting on a box with their head in their hands

  • Suicidal thoughts

Step 2: Choose the Right Person

Two people seated at a table facing each other. Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Selecting the right person to reach out to is crucial. Opt for someone who is compassionate, understanding, and who you feel comfortable talking to about your feelings.

Make a list of people you could reach out to for support. The list could include a:

  • close friend

  • family member

  • partner

  • mental health professional

Step 3: Choose the Right Time and Place

Timing matters. Seek a quiet and comfortable space where you can have an uninterrupted conversation. Both you and the person you're reaching out to should have sufficient time to discuss your feelings.

You could meet:

An icon of a home with tree behind it

  • At home

An icon of a a table and chairs at a restaurant

  • In a quiet restaurant/cafe

An icon of a tree and bench in a park

  • For a nature walk

Step 4: Open the Conversation

Starting the conversation can be daunting, but remember that your feelings are valid.

Two people sitting at a table drinking from mugs Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Begin with a gentle approach, such as saying, "I've been struggling with my emotions lately, and I think I might be dealing with depression." This sets the tone for an open and honest discussion.

Step 5: Share Your Feelings

Describe your experiences and feelings honestly. Share specific symptoms you've noticed, like changes in sleep patterns, appetite, or energy levels.

Even if you're not able to express why you are feeling this way, it is OK to simply let them know that you're not OK.

A painting of a hand, from which hearts and flowers flow. Photo by Katarzyna Pypla on Unsplash

For example, you might say:

  • "I've been feeling really down and overwhelmed lately. I don't think I'm OK."

  • "I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and I find it hard to motivate myself to do even simple tasks, like brushing my teeth or having a shower."

  • "I have recurring thoughts about hurting myself."

Step 6: Ask for Support

A group of people standing with their hands touching the shoulder of another person in the centre Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash

Let the person know how they can help you. You may want to express that you're not asking them to "solve the problem," but seeking a space to share.

Tell them how they can best support you, be it:

  • lending an empathetic ear

  • helping you to seek professional help

  • accompanying you to appointments

  • offering practical assistance (e.g., buying groceries, cooking meals, regularly checking in, etc.)

Step 7: Educate Them

Flaticon Icon

Not everyone knows about depression, and that's okay. You can help them understand by sharing some resources. Send them an article or video that explains what depression is and how it feels. This can open up their eyes to your experience.

Some resources you could share include:


For the past few months, a high school student named Louis has been experiencing depression and wants to reach out to someone for support. What steps should he take to do this?

Take Action

Reaching out for help when you're facing depression is a brave and important step. Remember, you're not a burden for opening up about your feelings. The right people will want to support you through the tough times.

One person resting their head on the shoulder of another person. Photo by Transly Translation Agency on Unsplash

Check out the list below for more actions you can take to start your journey to better mental health.


Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte