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Top tips for supporting a client, participant or loved one who suffers from anxiety or depression

Supporting someone who is experiencing anxiety or depression can make a significant difference in their recovery journey.

We spoke to psychologist Mechelen D’Souza who has years of experience helping clients manage their anxiety and depression.

Whether you are an informal carer for a loved one or have clients/participants who you support the below tips will help you engage with them on a daily basis.

1. Listen without judgement: Avoid advice giving and passing judgement on the way a person is experiencing the world. Instead validate their experience through providing an empathic statement such as “that must be really tough to deal with constantly” or “I can hear how difficult this is for you”. Practice your non-verbal communication skills to encourage the person to feel safe and heard whilst talking to you.

2. Be patient and understanding: Recognise that anxiety and depression can affect a person's mood, behaviour and motivation. Be patient with their progress and understand that recovery takes time. Avoid pressuring or expecting them to "snap out" of their condition.

3. Encourage self-care: Encourage the person to engage in self-care activities that promote their well-being, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, hobbies, or spending time in nature. Offer to participate in these activities together if they feel comfortable.

4. Encourage social connections: Help the person maintain social connections and engage in activities they enjoy. Loneliness can worsen anxiety and depression, so encourage them to spend time with friends, join support groups, or participate in community activities.

5. Encourage professional help: Encourage the person to seek professional assistance from a therapist, counselor, or doctor. Offer to help them find resources, schedule appointments, or accompany them if needed. Professional support is crucial for effective treatment.

6. Be supportive of their treatment plan: Encourage and remind the person to follow their treatment plan, such as attending therapy sessions or taking prescribed medications. Offer to help them with any practical arrangements related to their treatment.

Finally have a look at psychologist Mechelen D’Souza’s tips on boosting feel good hormones to help lift your mood.


For more information on Mechlen you can visit her website.

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

To make a referral, please visit https://www.careseekers.com.au/referrals