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Supporting your child to seek the help they need

How do I support someone who needs help?

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Yet in this fast-paced, technologically-driven and, at times, physically-distanced world we live in, sometimes that village doesn’t feel like a reality for many of us.

Though when our children and young people are faced with challenges which require the help of professionals, it is important to realise that you are not alone.

The Youth Solutions team often receive calls and emails from community members wishing to link a loved one up with professional support. Sometimes it is a parent seeking help for their child’s cannabis use, or a teacher supporting a student to address their anxiety. Other times it’s someone finding temporary accommodation options for their partner or a friend’s child.

When we chat to these community members, it is apparent how difficult and slow the process of supporting others to seek help can be for these unsung heroes.

Here are our five helpful tips when supporting others to seek help:

1. Educate yourself

Find out more information about the issue/s of concern and support services available. Make sure the information you gather is from credible, evidence-based sources.

2. Celebrate small wins and reflect on set-backs

It is important to recognise improvements (however small they are) and help your child/young person to normalise as well as learn from set-backs.

3. Provide practical supports

Help the child/young person to complete referral forms, help take them to their appointment or be their support person during an appointment.

4. Keep communication lines open

Where possible, try to be there for the child/young person to talk to. Be mindful that it may be necessary to set boundaries and maintain personal safety.

5. Self care

Make sure that you look after yourself. In order to have the capacity to help others, it is vital you take care of yourself. It may be helpful to talk someone from Parent Line NSW (PH: 1300 1300 52) or Family Drug Support (Ph: 1300 368 186) The Youth Solutions team are also available to assist. Connect with Youth Solutions for issues-based information and resources and support with referrals.

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