Reaching Out Can Save Lives (On Depression and Suicide)

Those who know someone who has taken their own life wish that they had known of the internal struggles of their friend, co-worker, or loved one, and that the person would have reached out for support and help. But too often people struggling with depression keep their struggles to themselves, and sometimes others don’t want to intrude, or don’t know how to say ‘the right thing’ even if they know or sense something isn’t right.

However, simply checking in with someone who is going through a hard time is really important in reducing their isolation. Reaching out to them and letting them know others care for them can sometimes make a world of difference. Depression and thoughts of suicide can happen to anyone, and when in a tough place it can be very hard to see a way out. That’s why it’s important to reach out to someone, listen and not judge.

As well as the informal support of loved ones, there are a range of options for more formal support and advice, starting with online resources such as, and phone lines like Lifeline or Youthline. Individual therapy can help and your GP is a great starting point to help guide you about the level of support and treatment you may need.

There should be no shame in reaching out for help, the shame is when people don’t feel able to get the support they need, or don’t feel able to access support from those who would gladly have given it to them had they been given that chance.

If you’re struggling with depression you can contact:

Lifeline’s 24/7 Helpline: Free call 0800 543 354 or free text HELP (4357)
Youthline: Free call 0800 376 633 or free text 234 or visit

Article written by:

Marie Young
Regional Clinical Manager – Gains@Geneva

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology Major)
Master of Arts (Psychology Major)
Diploma of Clinical Psychology
Registered under the Clinical Psychology Scope and Neuropsychology scope of practise
Full Member – New Zealand College Of Clinical Psychologists
EMDRNZ Chairperson