“It's so important to seek help and support, as well as give help and support wherever possible to others.”
It can be hard seeing someone you care about experience a mental health condition, or struggle with daily life.
Sometimes, just being there can make a difference. Knowing that there is someone to talk to, who will listen without passing judgement, can ease the burden for a person who is not coping.
Mental health problems can be complex. There are many individual differences in the symptoms and how each person responds to different treatment options. However, as with a physical illness, a person with a mental health condition will benefit from the right treatment and support. Having someone to lean on while working through this experience can reduce stress and help them on the road to recovery.
If the person you want to support doesn’t seem comfortable talking to you or anyone else in person, digital mental health resources might be the way to go; they can often be just as effective as talking to someone face-to-face.
However you choose to provide your support, there is plenty of information available to help you get started. We have some resources further down this page. We also have information on support for carers, and a page where you can find digital services and resources.
A closer look
Mental ill-health is common, but help is available
Approximately 20% of Australians are affected by mental ill-health every year. Mental health conditions can affect anyone at any time, but many of those who seek treatment do go on to effectively manage their recovery journey. (Source)
Support from friends is highly valuable
For some people struggling with their mental wellbeing, friends may be the first people they feel comfortable opening up to. Positive support of friends is important and can encourage someone to make further progress on their journey to recovery. (Source)
Being available is a helpful form of support
One of the most helpful ways to support someone experiencing a mental health condition is to be available, to give your attention, care and time, to listen openly and without passing judgement or giving advice or opinions. Offering to do exercise or enjoyable activities with them and making appointments or accompanying them to a doctor are examples of other supportive gestures you can perform. (Source)
It’s easier to identify a problem with someone you know well
As a carer, nominated support person, friend or family member, you may be able to pick up on changes in the person's behaviour, recognising warning signs that things may not be going well. It could be helpful to have a casual chat or do an enjoyable activity together as a way to check in, show you care, and try to find out what’s going on. (Source)
Caring for yourself is important for supporting someone else
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool (opens in a new tab).