How to Support a Friend with Depression or Suicidal Ideation

How to Support a Friend with Depression or Suicidal Ideation

How to Support a Friend with Depression or Suicidal Ideation

Depression is a dark cloud that can overshadow every aspect of life, and when someone you care about is struggling, the desire to help can be strong. Knowing how to support a friend who may be experiencing depressive symptoms or suicidal thoughts is crucial. Here are some compassionate ways to help, keeping in mind that professional counseling, such as the services provided in Winter Park, FL, may be an essential step in their journey to recovery.

Listen Actively and Without Judgment

One of the most powerful things you can do for a friend who's suffering is to listen. Encourage your friend to express their feelings, and make sure they know you're there to support them unconditionally. Active listening involves giving your full attention, nodding, asking open-ended questions, and reflecting back what you’ve heard to ensure understanding.

Encourage Professional Help

While support from friends and family is important, professional help is often needed for those dealing with depression or suicidal ideation. Gently suggest the possibility of seeing a professional and offer assistance in finding a counselor. Mention that "counseling in Winter Park, FL" is available and that Orlando Thrive Therapy has resources to help.

Stay Connected

Isolation can amplify the effects of depression. Try to keep your friend engaged by inviting them for coffee, a walk, or simply sending a message to let them know you’re thinking of them. The key is to be consistent without being overwhelming, fostering a connection that reminds your friend they are not alone.

Be Patient

Healing takes time, and it might take a while for your friend to feel better, even with counseling or therapy. Be patient and understand that their journey to wellness is a marathon, not a sprint. Celebrate the small victories and remind them of their progress.

Educate Yourself

Learn about depression and suicidal ideation to better understand what your friend is going through. This knowledge can help you avoid harmful clichés and provide a more empathetic viewpoint. Recognizing the signs that somebody might need immediate help is especially important.

Protect Their Safety

If you believe your friend is in immediate danger, do not leave them alone. Seek out professional help immediately. In an emergency situation, call 911 or contact local emergency services. Your priority should always be ensuring their safety.

Remind Them of Their Worth

People dealing with depression often feel worthless. Remind your friend of their strengths and the impact they’ve made on your life. Highlight their qualities and achievements, and let them know how much they mean to you.

Offer Resources

Sometimes, offering specific resources can be more helpful than general advice. Share the contact information for Orlando Thrive Therapy in Winter Park, FL, along with any other supports and hotlines that can offer immediate assistance.


Supporting a friend with depression requires empathy, patience, and action. Be their shoulder to lean on, an advocate for their healing, and a guide towards resources like counseling in Winter Park FL. Remember, by offering a listening ear and a helping hand, you are making a profound difference in their recovery journey.

For those in need, Orlando Thrive Therapy provides the counseling support necessary to take the first steps towards healing. Contact us today for more information, and let’s navigate this path together.

Rise above any circumstance, for GROWTH, EMPOWERMENT, and better QUALITY of life!
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(407) 592-8997

216 Pasadena Pl
Orlando, Florida 32803
Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.