How to support people struggling with mental health

How to support people struggling with mental health

Many people find it difficult to admit they are struggling with depression or mental health issues and often keep their internal struggles private. This can make it difficult to know what to do when you suspect someone you know may need help.

The guide outlines some of the signs and risk factors that can lead to mental health issues along with links to resources for helping support someone with mental health needs.

Signs of Mental Health

Mental health issues affect about one in four people and can range from depression and anxiety through to more serious mental health disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. There are a number of signs and symptoms which may indicate mental health issues, including:

Situational factors or stressful life events

  • Relationship breakdown/divorce;

  • Loss of job/unemployment;

  • Grief or loss;

  • Financial difficulties;

  • Family or parenting difficulties; and/or

  • Health or medical concerns.

Changes in behaviour

  • Withdrawing from family or friends;
  • Not doing usual enjoyable activities;
  • Increase in alcohol or other drugs use;
  • Unable to concentrate; and/or
  • Engaging in high risk activities.

Noticeable changes in mood

• Coming across as sad, unhappy, miserable or upset;

• More angry, irritable or aggressive than usual;

• Lacking in usual confidence;

• Feeling guilty, frustrated, overwhelmed or indecisive; and/or

• Feeling flat or having difficulty feeling positive emotions.

Physical symptoms

• More tired than usual;

• Sick or rundown;

• Sleep disturbances (difficulties sleeping, oversleeping or bad dreams);

• Change in eating habits (loss of interest in food or eating too much); and/or

• Change in weight (significant weight loss or gain).

How you can help

What’s most important to know is that genuine care and support from family and friends can make all the difference to those struggling with their mental health.

If someone you know is showing signs or symptoms of mental health, it’s important that you take action and actively show your support to them. Read more about how to start the conversation. 

If you have questions or would like further information about supporting someone with mental health concerns, please contact the Suncare Customer Service Team on 1800 786 227. Our friendly team can point you in the right direction for further support and resources.

Crisis care

If you or someone you know is in a crisis and requires immediate support, call emergency services on 000.

Support services

  • Beyond Blue Call 1300 224 636 24 hours / 7 days a week to talk with a trained mental health professional.  

  • Lifeline 13 11 14 - A 24-hour, nationwide service that provides telephone and online counselling 

  • R U OK  provides tips and information about having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones. 

  • Mind health connect provides mental health and wellbeing information, support and services in Australia 

Call us on 1800 786 227 or