On Saturday the 22nd of February, Australia reeled with the news that television personality Charlotte Dawson had been found dead in her home. It was well known that Dawson – who has appeared in marie claire – had struggled with depression. In January 2012, she appeared in our campaign 'Shine a light', which called for greater awareness and compassion around the issue of depression.
One in five women will suffer from depression at some point in our lives – which means that even if you don't suffer from depression yourself, it's likely that someone you know probably does.
If you're worried about a friend with depression – and you believe they may be suicidal – visit www.conversationsmatter.com.au, which provides fact sheets, videos and podcasts explaining how to talk to people who have told you they are thinking of suicide. It also provides resources for bereaved families.
How to help someone with depression:
Do let them know that you have noticed a change in their behaviour
Don't try to minimise their problems by saying things like "Try not worry about it" or "I know how you feel"
Do use open-ended questions, such as "How long has this been going on"
Don't assume the problem will just go away
For more comprehensive information and fact sheets guiding you through how to talk to someone who you suspect may be suicidal, please visit www.conversationsmatter.com.au.
Charlotte Dawson appeared alongside Jessica Rowe in calling for greater awareness of depression in marie claire's 'Shine A Light' campaign.
If this post brings up issues for you, or you just need someone to talk to, please call Lifeline on 131 114.