Who can support you?

There are lots of things that we can do to help ourselves cope better but sometimes we also need help from other people.


Support from family and friends

Our friends and family accepting us for who we are can help protect our mental health, especially during times that can be stressful.

Friends and family can:

  • provide practical support, like help with homework or large projects
  • listen and offer you support when you need it
  • help to identify stressful situations at school/university, home or work
  • help to find other ways to solve practical and emotional problems
  • keep an eye out for changes in how you feel, think and act.

Talking with family and friends

Sometimes it can be hard to talk about how you are feeling with your parents or close friends. You might think "What will they say?" "How will they understand?" But the truth is they want the best for you. They do not want to see you hurting.

Parents and friends will react in different ways. Some may be supportive and caring while others might have trouble understanding your experiences. It can be surprising to see how helpful people can be when you let them know what's going on. Others might feel frustrated because they don't know how to help or because they feel disappointed that they had not seen how unhappy or anxious you were.

If their reaction is because they don't know much about anxiety or depression then you may be able to learn about it together. Talking about what is going on can really help. 


Support from a health professional

Sometimes you need more than the help of your friends and family. Anxiety and depression are medical conditions and so treatment from a health professional is sometimes necessary. There are a range of health professionals available to support you while you recover from anxiety and depression.

Some of these include:

  • Doctors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counsellors
  • Mental health nurse practitioners
  • Social workers in mental health
  • Occupational therapists in mental health
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers.

ReachOut NextStep

This online app can help you if you are going through a tough time to access the most appropriate support services for you, based on your own unique symptoms and experiences.

Access the app


How can you find a health professional?

Health professionals can be accessed through:

  • your local doctor
  • community health centre
  • public mental health service
  • headspace centres
  • private health clinics