Information for families and carers
Families and carers can play an important part in supporting a person with both depression and a long-term physical health problem, particularly if their symptoms of depression are severe. If your family member or friend has depression, their GP or other healthcare professional should ask them whether they would like you to be involved in their care.
If your family member or friend agrees, you should be given information on depression and on how you can support them throughout treatment.
You can help your family member or friend by watching out for any negative thinking, changes in behaviour (such as avoiding social activities and contact with other people, or not looking after themselves properly), hopelessness, changes in mood and thoughts about suicide. This is particularly important during very stressful periods or when their treatment is just starting or being changed.
As a carer, you may need help and support yourself. Healthcare professionals should give you information about local family and carer support groups and other voluntary organisations, and help you to make contact with them. Anyone with a caring role has the right to a carer's assessment.
Questions for families and carers
How can I support a person with depression and a long-term physical health problem?
Can you provide any information about depression?
What should I do if I am concerned about my family member or friend?
What support is available for family members and carers of a person with depression?
Are there any local family or carer support groups?