Ask Kari: How can I support my depressed friend?

Dear Kari,

I am very worried about my best friend. I believe that she is depressed and using alcohol to handle everything that she has going on in her life. How can I best support her without coming across as preachy?

--Trying to Help

Dear Trying to Help,

It is very thoughtful of you to want to support your friend who is struggling. I suggest that you make a date to speak with her in person. Begin the conversation by stating that you understand that she has been struggling and that you are concerned for her. Offer to listen to what she has to say. Then, gently suggest that she take better care of herself both physically and mentally; offer her suggestions on how to do so by eating better, exercising, healthy sleep habits, and cutting down on her alcohol consumption. By beginning the conversation about her overall wellness, you leave open the opportunity for her to listen better and take in your concern overall vs. becoming defensive about her drinking habits. Good luck, friend!


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.