Sorry to hear about this. Depression is a common and very unpleasant condition, horrible for the person suffering from it and for those who love them.
You don't mention whether she has seen a good doctor, preferably a psychiatrist, for assessment, or whether she has received any treatment, either with medicines, or with CBT counselling, or whether this helped at all. Fortunately most depressions respond well to basic treatment, but some don't, and then a specialist psychiatrist has to consider a range of different treatments, to help more.
Yes, it can be difficult to encourage and support a person with depression, as the disorder itself may actually shift the way they see the world, making them concentrate on the negative aspects of life and to interpret things negatively. This is where cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) a special form of counselling can be so useful.
As for support groups, which can help depressed people and their families. contact SADAG, the SA Depression & Anxiety Group, a national organization with many local groups. firstname.lastname@example.org, it has a facebook page, and a 24 hour helpline, 080012 13 14
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