12.9.3  What happens after you refer the person

People with depression and their families may feel more comfortable and reassured when they receive information about what will happen after referral. It is best if the person is referred to a familiar place. They will feel less confused; it will be easy for the family to travel with them and for them to get additional support should they need to. However, it is sometimes unavoidable for the person to be referred to a distant place, like Amanuel hospital in Addis Ababa. Explain to the person that because they are being referred for depression it does not mean they will be treated differently. Tell them that they will get an opportunity to discuss their difficulties further and that if required they will get additional laboratory investigations. If the doctor confirms the diagnosis of depression, they may get some counselling and come back with or without treatment. If someone has severe depression, for example, if they are suicidal, they may have to stay in hospital for a brief period of treatment. If they are prescribed medication they can continue it from home; reassure them that you will be prepared to support them.

12.9.2  What might and might not help with the depression

12.9.4  Be prepared to discuss whatever questions the person may have