HOW TO HELP

“There are a lot of people that are dealing with [mental health issues] who feel like they can’t speak out. So helping people feel comfortable to talk about it is a huge thing.” Brendon Love [Bass Player, The Teskey Brothers]

Sometimes, life gets really challenging. It’s times like these that we need to reach out to one another, and normalise opening up about our struggles and asking for help or support.

For the most part, people are reluctant to reach out for help. This is because it can be scary to put yourself out there in a vulnerable way and admit you’re hurting or struggling. You might think that asking for support makes you a burden or puts too much pressure on others. Or maybe you’ve internalised loud and unhelpful messages from society and formative relationships that have framed help-seeking as an act of weakness. It’s time to push past these obstacles and recognise that seeking help is actually an incredibly courageous act. It means that you know enough about yourself to know you’re not doing great, and shows that you understand that things don’t have to be like this forever.

SIGNS YOU (OR A MATE) MIGHT NOT BE DOING GREAT

  • Feeling/Acting off. Constantly agitated, erratic, overwhelmed, aggressive, downhearted or withdrawn.
  • Drinking, smoking or using drugs much more frequently.
  • Self-isolating – not attending social events and frequently cancelling plans.
  • Stopped doing fun or healthy stuff, like hobbies or exercise.
  • Experienced a big life change, e.g. lost a friend/family member, broken up with a partner, lost a job, lost a bunch of money, had a kid.
  • Eating and/or sleeping way too often, or barely enough.
  • Posting dark, erratic or alarming content onto social media.
  • Certain behaviours have taken on an obsessive, all-encompassing vibe, like watching porn, having sex, exercising, working, etc.
  • Engaging in risky behaviours, like drink driving or speeding, gambling, taking heavier drugs, having heaps of unprotected sex, getting into fights.
  • Close friends or family have expressed concern for your wellbeing.
  • Self-harming, or thought about or planned out suicide.

If you recognise any of the above points in your own life or in the behaviour of someone you care about, it’s time to reach out.


START THE CONVO. SMASH THE STIGMA.

Kicking off convos about mental health can be life saving. When you start the convo, you are normalising mental health as a topic that impacts us all, building your listening and empathy skills and letting someone know you’re there for them.

Check out our three-step guide to kicking off important conversations about mental health with someone close to you…

Check In. Connect somewhere private and low-pressure.

“I really want to hear what’s going on for you.”

“I’ve noticed you’ve not been yourself lately…

Listen. Ask open-ended questions and try to deeply understand what they are feeling and experiencing.

“How have you been feeling?

What’s been going on…?”

Support by validating their experience and share resources. Let them know that you appreciate them sharing with you, and that it’s human to experience these challenges. Consider sharing your own personal experiences and what’s helped you (but don’t hog the convo!)

“That sounds tough.”
“I’ve been there too…”

Finally, guide them to relevant and easy-access resources and support – like the ones on this page!

“Maybe something like this can help…”

READ MORE ABOUT THE POWER OF ASKING FOR HELP

HOW TO REACH OUT FOR HELP

If you feel like you’re experiencing mental health challenges, here are a few steps you can take to get some support.

The first step is to get it out in the open and share honestly and vulnerably. This can feel challenging and uncomfortable at first, but don’t let those feelings dissuade you from doing it.

Speak to someone who is a good listener, who might have gone through similar challenges, or who has always had your back.

That sucks, when it feels that way. Often, you’d be surprised at how decent most people can be when it comes to hearing out a friend in need.

But if you feel like there is no one in your life that you can reach out to, then fortunately there is a number of free support services that offer immediate support where you can call and chat with someone right away.

 

SUPPORT ACT WELLBEING HELPLINE:
1800 959 500
Lifeline:
13 11 14
Beyond Blue:
1300 22 4636
Suicide Call-Back service:
1300 659 467
Mensline Aus:
1300 78 99 78

If you’re concerned for your immediate safety or the safety of others, call 000.

Your GP is your next port of call, when it comes to getting the help you need. Although they might not always be the best folks to talk to about mental health stuff, they can give you a quick assessment and provide you with a Mental Health Care Plan.

 

A Mental Health Care Plan a valuable resource that gives you access to the Medicare rebate, where you score a minimum of $80 off up to ten sessions per year with a registered psychologist.

“But what if still can’t afford to see a mental health professional, even with the Medicare rebate?”

If you find a bulk-billed psych, there will be no out-of-pocket fees. There are also a number of free mental health services available to support you, where you can receive counselling, therapeutic support and a space to be heard.

If you’re not a huge fan of phone chats, then you can check out some of the below resources. These include self-guided therapies which can be a good option while you wait for a therapy appointment.

Support Act Mental Health Resources
A hub for info, tips and content recommendations about mental health issues that specifically impact people working in music.

Mindspot.org.au

A free service for Aussies who are experiencing anxiety, depression and low mood. They offer online assessments and treatment courses.

MentalHealthOnline.org.au
A free service if you’re experiencing psychological distress – they guide you through self-assessment and tools.

MyCompass.org.au
A personalised self-help tool for your mental health. They provide you with a health toolkit and interactive activities.

HeadToHealth.gov.au
Digital mental health resources from decent sources.

Go to Support Act. Go to all these places that can give you a hand, give you lift, give you direction. Don’t think you’re on your own because you never are. We are family. We’re there for you.

Howard Freeman

HOW TO TAKE ACTION

If you’re feeling like you or someone you know might be in need of some help:

  1. Bring it up. Talk about it. Reach out to family and friends, or find yourself a support group where people might be facing similar struggles. You’re not alone.
  2. Check out the below resources for numbers you can call for immediate or longer-term support.
  3. Find a mental health practitioner that’s right for you (ask around, get on Google, or ask your GP for recommendations)

Remember: If you, or someone you care about, is in crisis or at immediate risk dial 000 now.

Here are some free Mental Health Resources we recommend:

24hrs a day, everyday.

Support for anyone working in Australian music or the arts who needs to talk to someone about any aspect of their wellbeing.

9am-5pm, Mon-Sun AEST.

Supporting adults affected by complex trauma and childhood trauma and those who support them.

8am-midnight, every day.

Support for eating disorders and body image issues over the phone, web chat or email

Midday-3am, every day.

Telephone and online counselling service for people experiencing loss or grief.

Support and information for young people 12-25 for mental health and what’s going on in their life

9am-7:30pm weekdays AEST.

Support for women, men and families affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood.

3pm-midnight, every day.

Phone and online anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

Relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.

Free 24/7 chat and email counselling and support services for anyone affected by gambling.

www.gamblinghelponline.org.au


CHECK OUT OUR RUOKAY DAY LIVE PANEL + ACTIVITY BOOKLET

On My Mind: #RUOKay Day Special

Check out our free, 60min live panel chatting about how to give and get help for mental health issues,

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE BOOKLET WITH TIPS ON HOW TO LOOK OUT FOR A MATE WHO’S STRUGGLING.

CHECK THIS OUT…

Julia Why & Her Mental Health Journey

Musician, Julia Why, speaks about her mental health struggles and how Support Act helped her.

WANT MORE? GIVE THESE A LISTEN…

The Art of Asking for (and Getting) Help | 26 MIN
HBR IdeaCast

Wayne Baker, professor at the University of Michigan discusses the best way to effectively ask for help at work. The episode outlines strategies to ensure the best possible outcome including defining your goal, who specifically to ask, and message crafting.

Listen to HBR IdeaCast here

Masculinity – It’s actually such a sign of strength to speak up and get help | 80 MIN
Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health

Host Bobby Temps is joined by Piers Harrison-Reid to talk about masculinity as a factor in mental health and getting support.

Listen to Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health here