Talk About Depression is developing an online assessment that offers step-by-step support for helping navigate someone going through a crisis. Influenced by protocols used by 9-1-1 operators and input from top medical professionals, we also help with next steps such as talking points for friends and family and online treatment options.
Our prototype is a completely confidential way to support either yourself or someone that you’re concerned about. Giving you critical information in minutes allows you to make an educated decision about helping in a crisis. See example video below.
While mental illness can manifest in a variety of ways, there are common items that signal to you that something may be going on. Below are some characteristics to watch for.
There isn’t a one-way-is-the-right-way approach to mental health challenges. There is, however, a lot of questions. Should you take it seriously? Is it OK to ask questions? Are they alone right now, and should you go to them? Finding space to help your friend means taking care of yourself, too.
The symptoms of mental illness are different for everyone, yet one thing is consistent: With social and professional support, people demonstrate significant or full recovery. There is nothing wrong with talking about your concerns with your friends, and it’s OK to ask questions.
Let your friend know what you’ve noticed, such as sleeping more or avoiding social activities. Focus your conversation on “I” instead of “you” to let them know you are here to listen, and you are not judging them. It’s OK to say you are concerned to hear them talking or acting like this.
You don’t have to take this on by yourself, so ask for support from a friend or family member that you trust. Ask your friend if they mind that you are sharing their circumstances, as they may feel betrayed or concerned if they find out you’ve shared with others. Friends, spouses, therapists, coaches ; all of these are good resources.
Be sure to include your friend when planning a social event, or ask them to come with you for errands. Knowing that you enjoy them being around is comforting, and they’ll appreciate your effort. Check-in with a phone call or text a few times a week and be sure to ask them how they are doing.
It can be any mix of overwhelming, confusing, or frustrating when you want to help your loved one. What you’re feeling is okay, and there are ways you can help. With a social network and treatment, things can start to brighten up. However, if you or someone you know needs helps now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.
Your friend sends you a text and it catches you off guard. Their tone is different, and the text is a little dark, scary even. It seems like they are not OK, and you aren’t sure how to help. Do you go to them? Are they serious? Are some responses better than others? Like most of us, you start by searching online for help.
Browsing around Google and a few sites, you realize there isn’t an efficient guide to help you understand this moment. It’s frightening for yourself and your friend. So many websites seek to provide help but wow, it’s so incredibly overwhelming! In a moment of emotional distress, it’s hard to sort through big blocks of text.
With 1 in 5 Americans experiencing mental illness and our country in a suicide crisis, improving access to care is essential. We’re raising money to help launch our online assessment, a vital tool to help families and those in crisis find help in a cloudy time. To donate and learn more, click below.