Dr. Jeff Steffenson, BSM clinical psychologist, and senior high math teacher Mary Seppala share their advice for those who are helping another deal with depression or who are dealing with their own depression.
Knight Errant: What should you say to someone who tells you that they have [had depression] in the past? How do you respond?
Dr. Steffenson: Don’t say you understand; it’s not really what you say. It’s just being there; that shows how much you care.
KE: What should you do if you know someone that either has attempted suicide or is going to attempt suicide?
Dr. Steffenson: Kids? Come to an adult immediately. This is life and death, and we don’t want anyone to die. If something happens to them, it’s too much for you to handle. I always recommend going to an adult when you need to help someone.
KE: So if you had one piece of advice or what you advise people to do, would you just say to seek professional help?
Mary Seppala: I would hope that there’s a cultural shift in not sweeping it under the rug. People need to talk about it more, and once you talk about it, you realize and think “look at all these people around me that are going through the same thing.”