How to Support a Loved One in Seeking Mental Health Support: A Guide for Everyone

by Lyndsay Babcock
Psychologist The Self Centre Psychology

Encouraging a loved one to seek mental health support can be a challenging but profoundly impactful conversation.

Recognising the signs that someone may be struggling and offering support in a caring and non-judgemental manner is essential. Here’s how you can help someone you care about access the mental health support they need:

Identifying Signs of Struggle: Be attentive to changes in behaviour, mood swings, withdrawal from social activities, increased substance use, or expressions of hopelessness. These could indicate that the person you care about is struggling and may benefit from professional support.

Starting the Conversation: Approach the conversation with empathy and compassion. Choose a private and comfortable setting, and express your concern in a non-confrontational way. Asking questions, being curious and not needing to have all the answers is helpful for both people. You could say something like: “I’ve noticed you have said you are overwhelmed quite a lot lately, that’s a hard place to be, talking to someone about that could really help, have you ever thought about getting support from a professional?”

Reducing Stigma: Normalise the act of seeking help for mental health issues by discussing it openly and without judgement. Remind the person you care about that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness, and that they deserve to feel better. Share stories of others who have benefited from therapy or support groups to illustrate that they are not alone in their struggles or needing help. We all need support in our lives, its ok to not be ok, and it’s ok to ask for help!

Providing Resources: Offer information about available mental health resources in Australia. For acute care and emergency situations call the 000, when someone is less at risk resources like Lifeline (13 11 14) and Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) provide immediate support and crisis intervention. Also, local community mental health teams are a great first call when you or someone you care about is really suffering.

For moderate care or outpatient services, organisations like Headspace and the Black Dog Institute offer counselling, therapy, and online resources tailored to different mental health needs.

The Self Centre Psychology: For people seeking support with anxiety, depression, ADHD coaching & assessment, transitions & adjustment, grief, stress, and trauma, The Self Centre Psychology offers personalised and compassionate care. Our team of experienced psychologists are able to support a wide range of mental health concerns and aim to provide a safe space for all our clients to explore their emotions and develop coping strategies.

In conclusion, supporting a loved one in seeking mental health support is an act of kindness and empathy that can make a profound difference in their life. By normalising the conversation around mental health, reducing stigma, and providing information about available resources, we can encourage everyone to prioritise their well-being and seek the support they need. Remember, no one should struggle alone, and reaching out for help is a courageous step towards healing and recovery.

Call The Self Centre to enquire about support for you or someone you care about 0403 215 118 or book online now.