How can I support a person whose mental health is deteriorating?

by | Mental Health, Videos

Supporting someone who’s mental health is deteriorating, particularly for a carer, is incredibly critical but also can be very demanding.

The first thing is really why they’re deteriorating, because until you know why they’re deteriorating it’s really hard to know what the right way to support them is, and I’ll give a couple of examples.

If they’re deteriorating because they’re under much more stress than they would normally experience or there’s something going on that’s external, then supporting them to help tackle that stress or that issue is probably the most effective way to provide support.

Alternatively, if they’re deteriorating or getting worse because their medicine is not working or they’re not taking their medicine properly, then it’s very important that you encourage that person to go to their family doctor or to their psychologist, or to a psychiatrist who’s involved with their care.

Lastly, when you’re a support for someone with a mental illness and they are deteriorating, it’s important for you to think about who else you can enlist to help you with that individual. Are there other family members, are friends that that person trusts who you can bring in to help that individual get through what is obviously an increasingly more difficult time?

Mental health helplines

If you or someone you know is feeling distressed and/or having suicidal thoughts, see your doctor, phone one of these helplines or click on the links below for online web chat counselling or support. Call 000 if life is in danger.

Lifeline (24 hours) 13 11 14
Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue Support Service (24 hours) 1300 22 4636
MensLine Australia (24 hours) 1300 78 99 78
SANE Helpline – mental illness information, support and referral 1800 187 263
Suicide Call Back Service (24 hours) – free counselling support 1300 659 467