I am supporting a loved one 

When your loved one is being cared for at St John of God Health Care  you can be assured that they will receive the best care available for their specific situation from our teams of experienced mental health professionals. 

We have a number of programs to support a range of conditions including anxiety, depression, substance addiction, personality disorders, perinatal mental health and trauma disorders. These can display differently in each person and you may find it confronting to see changes to your loved ones’ emotions or personality.

Your loved one may receive care by staying in hospital for a period of time, attending clinic appointments or group therapy programs, or by seeing a private physiatrist. Depending on their circumstances, they could receive medication or undergo a range of therapy options.  

How you can help?

It can be difficult to watch family, friends or loved ones experience mental health issues and many people are unsure how to provide support particularly when their loved one may be acting and reacting differently to how they normally would. 

Some people living with a mental health issue will want to talk about how they are feeling, while others may not want to speak about it at all, especially at the beginning of a diagnosis or treatment. It can be helpful to let them know that you are available to talk whenever they are ready, but try not to pressure them as they may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about discussing issues. 

It is human nature to try to ‘fix’ things when we see a loved one is upset or struggling but they may just need you to sit quietly and listen to their fears and doubts.
For some people, arriving at or attending an appointment may be difficult and you might like to accompany them to the appointments or attend it with them depending on their individual preferences. 


My loved one is receiving treatment as part of a hospital stay, can I visit them?
Yes, it can be important to maintain social supports while someone is undergoing treatment for a mental health condition. Always check with the individual, the hospital and the treating team before visiting.  

Do they have to be admitted to hospital to receive treatment?
No, the type of treatment location will depend on their condition, its severity and the person’s personal preference. Many people find a hospital admission helpful to remove the distractions of the outside world and focus on recovery while others prefer to continue living at home and attend counselling group therapy sessions or one-on-one counselling. 

I have a family member or friend who I am concerned about, how can I help them?
The first step in getting help is to encourage your loved one to book an appointment with a GP who will be able to make an assessment and provide a referral to an appropriate hospital or service. 
We understand that some people may not be ready to receive help and this can be particularly difficult for friends or family to watch. You might like to gently check in with them from time to time and see how they are going or suggest someone that they might feel more comfortable talking to. 

I’m concerned my family / friend is suffering from poor mental health and are a danger to themselves and others. What shall I do? 
It can be very stressful having to watch a family member or friend suffer, especially when you or they feel they are in danger. If you are concerned for your safety, theirs or others, please call Lifeline (13 11 14), 000 or go to your closest emergency department who can provide 24/7 help.  

Please complete the form and we will contact you during regular office hours (9.00am to 5.00pm). If you require urgent help please call Lifeline: 13 11 14

If you do not receive a response to your enquiry within 24 hours please contact: [email protected]

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