What to do if I think a loved one needs treatment?
Having a friend or family member who you know has or you suspect has a mental health issue can be very distressing and confusing. Unfortunately we cannot accept referrals to our service from loved ones. However if we have a person’s written or verbal permission to speak to you, we can take the referral from yourself on their behalf (see the refer yourself page to find out more about how to do this).
It is really important that anyone who seeks treatment with our service knows what the service is and is motivated to engage and make changes. If someone is not ready to access the service or work on their issues, it is probably not the right time for therapy. In these circumstances, you can help that person by listening and make sure they do not feel judged for opening up. Perhaps reflect back to them the changes you have noticed in their mood or behaviour, as they may not be aware of this or of the impact this change is having on others. You could show them this website, or print out some of the self help materials as a way of broaching the subject of getting some help.
You can also remind them that there is no shame in asking for help and accepting help from mental health services does not mean you are ‘mentally ill’. You may just want to improve your general wellbeing. There are no struggles too trivial. If your loved one is concerned that “it’s not that bad” or “there are others that need it more than me” – remind them about how early intervention can prevent problems from getting worse and it’s much easier to tackle issues earlier.
What to do if I think a loved one needs more urgent treatment?
Turning Point Talking Therapy is a Primary Care talking therapies service, which means we are not able to respond in a crisis situation. People using our service are not in immediate crisis and are able to keep themselves safe for long periods of time and are able to engage fully in all aspects of therapy.
If your loved one needs help more urgently or if they would not be able to – or are reluctant to – engage in regular appointments, please encourage them to see their GP to discuss other support services.
If you are concerned that they may be at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, please access urgent GP appointments, out of hours GPs or Accident and Emergency, so arrangements can be made for support to be available within 24 hours. If your loved one is refusing these options, you can phone an ambulance or the police.
How you can help support a loved one who already accessing treatment?
If you already have a loved one using the service, this can still be quite an isolating time. You may not know what it happening in the treatment and you may feel uncertain about how you can help. The really good news is, you can help.
Having a supportive network of family and friends has a huge impact on the success of the therapies we deliver. That is why we run regular Support for Loved Ones workshops, where anyone who is supporting a client of our service can attend to learn more about how to help your friend, family member or colleague through treatment.
One of the most important things you can do to help your loved one is to look after your own emotional wellbeing.
Being close to someone who has anxiety or depression can lead to:
- Frustration and anger
- Financial and relationship issues
That is why the ‘support your loved ones workshop’ also discusses how to look after yourself as well as how to support the person using our service. And remember… the service we offer is also open to you! So for example if you think you could benefit from learning how to improve your sleep or you feel you need some counselling or therapy to deal with the issues you are facing, you can refer yourself.
Other forms of support for loved ones:
- Carers Wakefield – 01924 305544
- Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053
- Confidential information and advice for carers
- Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends
- Citizens’ Advice Bureau – 0844 499 4138 www.wakefielddistrictcab.co.uk