How can I support a family member who is going through depression?

“How can I support a family member who is going through depression?” New Era, January 2018

“How can I support a family member who is going through depression?”


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You might take some time to learn about depression and other mental health disorders. When you understand what mental illness is, it becomes less frightening and you are better able to help. A good resource is

Listen with love to your family member. Sometimes a listening ear is the best gift you can give someone struggling with depression.

Look at Resources

Recovering from depression can be very difficult. First, try to find the source. Depression is often caused by a combination of factors, such as poor nutrition, lack of sleep and exercise, genetics, and depressive tendencies. As a family, try to keep a healthy lifestyle, think and speak positively, and always be supportive. Bring the Spirit into your home, and encourage your family to have a close relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. Help them understand Christ’s Atonement can help them through their struggles. The mental health page on is a fantastic resource.

Rose B., 17, North Dakota, USA

Give Support

The first step to helping someone with depression is to understand that mental illness is not something people choose to have. After that, you need to support them. Help them want to get up in the morning, to want to keep going, and most important: help them find help. You don’t have the full capacity to help them in the same way a professional psychiatrist can, but you can ease their burdens. More importantly, help them understand that they need the Lord and the power of His Atonement.

Rebekah H., 16, Washington, USA

Pray for Direction

Pray for direction. Heavenly Father knows everyone perfectly, and He knows what people with depression might need. I have felt a lot of hope through others’ inspired acts. If you pray for help, Heavenly Father will help you do what is most needed.

Emily A., 17, New Mexico, USA

Love and Care for Them

One of my cousins has been struggling with depression for the past few years. We try to keep in contact, but because of the miles between us, being there physically for her is hard. I started a care package and filled it with things that she loves and could use as a pick-me-up. I also wrote letters of advice, concern, and inspiring quotes. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but letting someone know that you love and care for them can be enough to help them get through the darkest of times.

Hanne J., Georgia, USA