No one wants to see a loved one suffer with mental illness. But how can you help them take that first step towards getting effective professional help? We know this conversation can be tricky. After all, mental health is a very personal subject for most people. To make this situation less daunting, we’ve created a simple guide to help you help your friend make an appointment to see a psychologist.
Before we get started, make sure you’ve read our previous blog on how you can find a great psychologist for your loved one. With the details of a great professional in hand, you can make the most of our suggestions below.
How to talk with your friend about going to therapy
Encouraging someone to seek mental health help can be hard. However, for many people, the process of actually finding a psychologist themselves is often the most daunting and difficult part of the process.
If you’ve read our previous blog and have already found a great psychologist for your friend, this can make the process far easier. By approaching them with the name and contact information of a mental health professional, they are more likely to respond positively to the idea. The overwhelming and often confusing process of finding a therapist has already been done; all they need to do now is book an appointment.
Here are a few things to be mindful of when speaking to someone about their mental health:
- Make sure your words and tone are kind and compassionate.
- Express how much you care for them and how you want them to be happy.
- Tell them that you have already found them a great psychologist suited to their needs and budget. This means all they have to do is book an appointment.
- Let them know that with a Mental Health Treatment Plan, they can get up to 10 subsidised therapy sessions per year. This makes the cost of therapy far more affordable. In some cases, we can even help you find a professional who bulk bills.
- Remind them that it’s okay to seek professional help. Mental illness affects many people, and therapy is a great way to overcome problems.
- Finally, you can suggest to them that they could try going to one session and see how they feel. This can often be a great way to show someone that therapy isn’t as scary as it seems.
What to do if your friend doesn’t want to see a psychologist?
As much as we might want our loved one to begin therapy, they simply might not be ready to take that next step. The truth is that everyone needs to seek professional help when it feels right to them.
If this is the situation you find yourself in, it’s important not to pressure, guilt or argue with your friend about it. The last thing you want to do is make them feel worse or stop them from confiding in you about how they’re feeling in the future. Remember that they are going through a tough time, so making them feel supported is crucial. If you feel comfortable, tell them that you’re here to support them regardless of their decision. This way, they might come around to the idea of therapy in their own time.
Be sure to protect your own mental health, too
Most of us would do anything to help our loved ones. However, caring for someone with a mental illness can be really hard. Sometimes, it can even start to take its toll on our own wellbeing. This is why it’s important to take care of yourself even when you’re focused on helping someone else.
Practicing self-care, confiding in someone about how you’re feeling and even taking a step back if you need to are great ways to protect your own mental health. If you find that feelings of sadness, stress or anxiety are affecting your daily life, it could even be a good idea to see a psychologist yourself. You can use our free, online service for your own search in the same way that you may have used it for a friend.