This was a good article from the New York Times:
There are no easy answers for helping someone struggling with depression, especially if you’ve already tried and tried. Here are some tips from experts.
By Heather Murphy
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
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:
Don’t underestimate the power of showing up
Don’t try to cheer him up or offer advice
It’s O.K. to ask if she is having suicidal thoughts
Take any mention of death seriously