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You can access support by:

Phone Contact by form
Call 1300 175 594

If you call, we will get your details and arrange for one of our Mental Health and Wellbeing team to call you back

Fill up our form here.

If you complete this form, the information will be received by our team and one will call you back

If you are worried about someone else, we can talk to you about this but please make sure you have asked them first.

How to talk to someone about their mental health

Ask if they are okay
Simple asking how someone is going is a great way to start a conversation.
Explain the differences you have noticed and ask them if they are OK.

Be genuine
Raise the topic in a way that feels comfortable to you. There is no right or wrong way to say that you’re concerned. Just be genuine.
For example: Would you like to talk with me about what’s happened? I’m worried about you.

Explain why you are concerned
What you have noticed that’s worried you? Maybe their mood has changed or they have been acting differently.
For example:
You haven’t seemed yourself lately – is everything OK?
I’ve noticed that you’re not going out much with us at the moment, what’s going on?

Be prepared and wait
They may not want to talk about their mental health yet. Don’t pressure them. By noticing and saying something, you have shown you care and are willing to have the conversation when they are ready.
For example:
OK, but you know you can talk to me if you ever need to.
Focus instead on staying in touch and doing things together that might make them feel less alone. Look for opportunities to talk about it again later.
Suggest other people they might prefer to talk to, such as a friend who has experienced anxiety or depression, or let them know Rural Aid’s confidential phoneline 1300 175 594

Listen to what they tell you
Encourage them to talk about what is going on. Listen to how they feel, what they’re thinking and what they are doing differently.
For example:
Just take your time, there’s no rush. I know what I am talking about can be difficult.

Take your time
Take time to try to understand their experience of feeling anxious or depressed. Everyone’s experience is unique. Recognise and validate how they’re feeling.
For example:
I can hear that the last few months have been really terrible for you. Please tell me more about it.

Don’t give advice
It’s natural to want to solve the problem to make them feel better. However, the most helpful thing you can do is listen. It is important to give them space to talk and feel heard. Try to avoid making assumptions or offering solutions, advice or a diagnosis.
For example:
How are you feeling about that? How is that affecting you?

Be comfortable with the silence
A silence may make you feel uncomfortable at first but see it as a chance for you both to gather your thoughts. Help them feel at ease and follow their lead.
For example:
What’s that like for you?

Don’t judge
Be non-judgemental if they share things that are hard to hear or you don’t understand. Together you can work out how to move forward.
For example:
Can I just check that I have understood you correctly?

Support them to get the help they need

Keep what they have told you private, unless they are at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.
For example:
I know it can be hard to talk about this – thanks for trusting me with it.

For suicide prevention, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14

Reassure them that they are not alone and there is hope that things can get better.
For example:
You don’t have to deal with this on your own. I’m here for you. Things can get better.

Be patient, help them to overcome any setbacks, and point out any improvements you see.
For example:
I want to help but I don’t want to interfere, so tell me when I am getting in they way.

It can take time for a people to be ready to talk to you or a mental health professional. Don’t make your support conditional on them seeing a health professional.

Discuss with the person what the barriers are for them and how you can help.

Respect their decision. Reassure them that they are not alone and remind them that professional support is available.

Rural Aid Mental Health and Wellbeing team can be contacted on 1300 175 594
For crisis support and suicide prevention, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14