Depression If your friend seems unhappy, sad or depressed: some suggestions Spend some time with them – they may be feeling very lonely and alone. Invite them to join in when a group of friends are going out – they may be feeling unwanted. Suggest that you could do something together, like a walk, gentle exercise, go for coffee, or watch a DVD. Make sure they have eaten something nutritious recently. Make time for them to talk about difficult feelings (remember to be realistic about what you can offer). But do respect their need to feel cheerful, so also allow your friend to talk about something good. And don't push them if they just want to be quiet. It may help if you sometimes simply ask your friend how they are feeling. If they are feeling very negative or hopeless, show that you understand that this is how they feel right now, and don't try and “make them better.” However, it may also help to remind them of some of the things they have achieved and times when they feel better. Show them the Counselling website, which offers information on depression and suggestions on how to manage. There is an online leaflet on depression, information on self-help books, and links to self-help websites. Your friend can buy a short, inexpensive booklet from our receptionist. Other resources you can show your friend are the national support organisation Students Against Depression, and information on local groups for depression run by the organisation, Mind. If appropriate, recommend they make an appointment with their doctor or at the Medical Centre, and / or an appointment with the Brookes Counselling Service. Give them the telephone number for Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90 – a confidential helpline for people who are lonely or unhappy.