Conversation Starters

How to talk about it.

As awkward or difficult as it may be to speak with your loved one about depression or feelings of desperation or hopelessness, it’s the only way to open a dialogue and may be a good way to start their recovery process. Here are a few tips to help you begin a productive discussion with a man who needs help.

Open the line of communication with statements like:

  • “I am worried about you.”
  • “It seems like something is bothering you.”
  • “You don’t seem like yourself lately. What’s going on?”

Next, ask pointed questions to get to the root of your concern. This will not put the idea of suicide into someone’s mind. Instead, it will show them you care and they may feel relieved that someone understands how they are feeling:

  • “Are you depressed?”
  • “Do you feel like there is no way out?”
  • “Have you thought about ending your life?”

Finally, ask him to let you help him reach out for assistance:

  • “Can we talk about how we can make this better?”
  • “Let’s go online and see what kind of information we can find out about this.”
  • “Would you like me to make an appointment so you can talk with someone?”

Above all, listen to the answers you are getting. Make sure he knows that you respect his thoughts, that it’s normal if he doesn’t understand what he’s going through, and that you are there to help without judgment.