I know this is quite a generalised question but a few recent events got me thinking. A close friend of mine is going through a depressive episode and I visited her earlier today. She told me that my wife and I are the only ones who have offered to personally visit and just spend some time with her. Whilst we are pretty close friends with her, we probably aren't quite in the top 3. She showed me all these messages on her Facebook wall from people wishing her well, "thinking of you, babe" and so forth (the sheer insensitivity of discussion other people's mental health state on their FB wall is also a bit striking to me).
The themes all seems to be "I KNOW how you feel" and how they want her to know they really care etc. But she mentioned that few people seem to want to take the time to actually just listen to her and spend time with her. We also happen to know some of her closest friends and, generally speaking, they don't appear to be the time poor types that can't spare an hour over the next few days to see her. But we know that some of her attempts at reaching out to them have met with no response. And this person has always been socially popular, pleasant, and willing to go out of her way to help others.
Thinking about my own social circles, I have to say that save for one or two unusual people, I rarely hear from anyone who just "gets in touch" by way of a text or whatever just to see if you are okay. The only time when people get in touch is if they want to do some activity together. As a early-30s professional guy, I am struck by how much more often I get "hello" e-mails and so forth from supposedly egotistical older people in senior positions for whom I previously worked etc, wanting to catch up "just because". Others in my age group report quite similar experiences.
This is all anecdotes, obviously. And I don't know what firm conclusions can be drawn but if anyone else has any views, fire away.