There is never a wrong time to seek professional help, whether you are facing the typical symptoms of depression—such as low mood, anhedonia, and fatigue—or if a family member or loved one is showing the early signs.

If you think someone you know may be struggling with depression, it may be helpful to have some tips to divert attention from the person’s depressive symptoms and encourage engagement in activities that might lead to healing. Here are five key strategies:

1. Let Them Know They Are Not Alone. Although it can feel difficult to admit that you or a loved one is suffering from depression, telling someone that they are not alone can be one of the first steps in getting help. It can trigger feelings of relief and make it easier to start seeking professional care.

2. Offer Support Throughout Treatment. There will be times during treatment when your loved one feels overwhelmed or frustrated. Helping them carry bags of groceries, keep a positive attitude during group therapy sessions, or simply being there for encouragement can make a big difference in their journey.

3. Establish Boundaries Around Treatment-seeking Behaviors. This may involve setting rules about where and when treatment sessions take place, as well as who is allowed contact with the person during times of treatment. Strategies like making appointments over the phone or sending texts instead of in person may help keep tabs on your loved one without overwhelming them further.

4. Remind Them That Recovery Requires Time and Effortsumption On Their Part Too! Just because they are receiving professional care doesn’t mean they don’t have to continue doing their part in recovery too—including working toward goals set prior to seeking help, joining support groups, and taking medication on schedule.

5. Seek Out Professional Counseling If Necessary! Professional counseling is an essential part of any effective treatment plan for depression and may be particularly beneficial for loved ones who want to learn more about what is happening with their loved one and how best to support them during treatment.”