This whole week has been about the importance and effectiveness of daily self-care. You know, doing things each day that help you to relax and unwind, that help you to keep a healthy headspace. However, let’s face it, sometimes power walking (exercise) and talking to a best mate (social support) after 10 minutes of mindful breathing (mindfulness) won’t solve all the complex challenge’s life can throw at us that leave us feeling...shit! In the same breath, as much as offering your genuine support to someone in your life who might be struggling can be lifesaving, there are times when some conversations are too big for family and friends to take on alone and reaching out to a professional is necessary.

When to seek professional support?

  1. If warning signs and symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks. Check out some handy information on warning signs and symptoms here
  2. If how you are feeling about anything is causing you significant distress – “why can’t I shake this?” “I want these feelings to stop!”
  3. If the way you are feeling is preventing you from doing things you can usually do or the things you usually enjoy doing.

Early intervention is by far and away the best intervention. If you or someone you know is struggling, get on top of things early!

Worried someone might be suicidal? This is not the time to umm and ahh! Contact Lifeline for crisis support on 13 11 14. If life is in danger, call 000.

What if the person you are worried about denies there is a problem or doesn’t want to talk to you or a professional?

It can be a bit frustrating and you can often feel a bit lost and helpless when someone close to you appears to need help but doesn’t want to accept it. That said, it is important to understand that deciding to seek help can be tough, even scary for some. Some people simply need time before seeking help, but you can still be there for them, you might just need to mix up your approach. Here are some tips on how to be there for someone who isn’t ready to seek help.

  • Be availableContinue to be supportive and listen…mindfully listen!
  • Offer help Give suggestions if your friend reaches out to you and asks for your advice. Let them know that you are someone they can turn to if they ever want to open up and talk.
  • Don’t force the issue or put pressure on them while applying pressure might come from a good place, it can often have the opposite effect and could turn your friend off seeking help altogether.
  • Don’t avoid them reinforce that you are someone they can turn to if they ever need to talk and continue to interact with them as you have always done in the past as best as you can.

Where and how to seek professional support? Check out the challenges below!