/ Mental Health

How to support someone in a crisis

Support from friends, family, loved ones and health professionals plays a significant role in the recovery process of someone experiencing a mental health issue. According to the Black Dog Institute, a support network is crucial for someone going through a difficult time.

What is a crisis?

Lifeline defines a crisis as 'someone's personal reaction to an event or experience in their life they find hard to cope with'. These events and experiences can include but are not limited to:

  • a relationship breakdown
  • loss (of a loved one, job, home)
  • physical health issues
  • caring for another
  • violence and trauma
  • pressures from work or study
  • an accident
  • a natural disaster
  • the onset of mental health issues

So what can you do?

  • let the person know that you care and are there to support them
  • treat the person with respect and dignity
  • offer practical support such as shopping or cooking meals
  • encourage healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, eating well and exercise
  • suggest speaking to someone they feel comfortable with e.g. GP, counsellor or mental health professional
  • offer assistance, e.g. help arrange an appointment with a doctor and, if they wish, accompany them to the meeting

Where to get help?

  • discuss the situation with your GP or medical professional
  • call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online here
  • visit Lifeline's facts and information section for additional resources
  • phone a Mental Health Crisis Line (available 24/7)
  • Find a mental health support worker

NSW: Mental Health Line
1800 011 511

VIC: Suicide Help Line
1300 651 251

13 43 25 84

TAS: Mental Health Services Helpline
1800 332 388

SA: Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service
13 14 65

WA: Mental Health Emergency Response Line
1800 676 822

NT: Top End Mental Health Service
08 8999 4988

ACT: Mental Health Triage Service
1800 629 354

To become a care or support worker, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/carer

To find aged care services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/aged-care-workers

To find disability support services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/disability-support-workers