Helping someone with depression

It’s not always easy to know how to help someone who is experiencing depression. It can be hard to know what to say or do. We all respond to situations and talk about things differently.

The following approaches are designed with this in mind. They offer you a number of ways to help a friend or family member.


​Staying connected and having meaningful conversations is something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert - just a good friend and a great listener. So, if you notice someone who might be struggling - start a conversation.

R U OK? A conversation could change a life

Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and Bipolar Disorder.

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Beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders in Australia.

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Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation

​The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation is an independent, charitable organisation. Its objective is to decrease work-related psychological ill-health in the legal community and to promote workplace psychological health and safety.

Visit the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation's website

Vicarious trauma in the legal profession

The nature of barristers’ work necessitates deep involvement in cases that may disclose violence, injury, destitution, betrayal, dishonesty, greed, danger and damage. Not only do barristers have to listen to clients describe what, for many of them, has been a devastating life experience, but also, barristers must ask those same clients to re-live it over and again during the trial process by recounting the details to doctors, experts and in court.

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Does the bar matter?

Geoff Gibson practised at the Bar for 15 years before going to a leading national firm as a partner in 1986. He returned to the Bar in 2002. In the article, Does the bar matter? he suggests that members of the Bar should take a little more responsibility for each other - not on a professional, but on a personal basis – that we all need the assistance of our fellows to cope with the problems of sole practice.

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