Speaking about mental health

Let's talk about mental health.

Speaking to someone about your concerns for their safety and wellbeing can be daunting as we may not always know the right thing to say.

There are certain things that are important to consider when you are planning on having this tough conversation with your loved one.

What to do when you’re concerned about someone’s mental health?

1. Choose the right environment

  • Ensure the person feels comfortable and free from distractions
  • Consider their preferences, like indoor or outdoor settings
  • Opt for a time when you are calm and collected

2. Start a conversation

  • Express care and concern
  • Mention specific changes you’ve noticed
  • Be patient with short responses; they may struggle to communicate

3. Continue the conversation

  • Ask open-ended questions and actively listen
  • Avoid interrupting or giving unsolicited advice
  • Encourage them to speak to a healthcare professional

4. Stay calm and respect privacy

  • Keep your composure; don’t overreact
  • Respect their trust and privacy
  • Only share information if there’s a risk of harm to them or others

5. Offer support suggestions

  • Encourage daily routines that promote healthy habits (sleep, exercise, nutrition)
  • Plan regular check-ins
  • Help them reconnect with friends or plan enjoyable activities together

6. Maintain your own wellbeing

  • Stay hopeful about their recovery
  • Respect their readiness to talk; don’t force it
  • Just ‘being there’ matters greatly
  • Avoid self-criticism; set boundaries to prevent burnout.
  • Seek support when you need it

If you need support or guidance, call our team of professionals – we’re here to help.

Download tip sheet as a PDF

Need more guidance?

For specific and personalised help, speak to our professional team by calling 1800 808 374 or by requesting an appointment online.

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