What To Do When A Loved One Is Severely Depressed

At a suicide prevention event at Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Wash., last month, participants choose necklaces of different colors representing how suicide had affected their lives.CreditGreg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, via Associated Press

Heather Murphy wrote an article for the New York Times that provided some helpful tips from experts to help somebody that may be struggling with depression.

Reports of Kate Spade’s suicide and struggle with depression instantly transformed her from symbol of polished prep to a blunt reminder that suffering affects all types. Three days later we woke to the news that another beloved figure, Anthony Bourdain, had taken his life.

These two tragedies have inspired hundreds to tweet some version of the same message: Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

But deep in the comment threads, some have also been debating a more uncomfortable question: What do you do when a friend is depressed for such a long time that you’ve started to feel that that nothing you can do will make a difference, and your empathy reserves are tapped out? There are no easy answers. But here are some tips from experts:

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