Every time a celebrity dies by suicide, our social media is flooded with words of support where we ask our followers to reach out if they’ve been dealing with mental illness. And while that sentiment comes from a good place, it is often ineffective. Because that’s simply not how depression works. People experiencing depression will not reach out to you. Not when their minds constantly tell them that they are unworthy of love, support, and compassion. Not when their minds constantly tell them that they are a burden. Not when their minds constantly tell them that they are truly alone. Not when their minds constantly tell them that the world is better off without them.
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So if you want to make a difference, take the onus of reaching out to them yourself.
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  1. If you notice a difference in someone’s behaviour, ask them gently how they’re feeling.
  2. Ask them again, and again, and again.
  3. If necessary, reach out to a mental health professional yourself and set up an appointment for them.
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