Helping a Loved One

You can help a loved one experiencing behavioral health issues in many ways:

Recognize a crisis

If you are concerned that someone is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else and they are not willing to get help, you can call 911 and ask for a mental health officer; these are police who are trained to help people in a mental health crisis and they can assess the situation and assist someone in getting the help they need.

Provide support

Listen to them and encourage them to get the help they need. Let them know that getting help is important and a healthy step toward wellness.

Respect confidentiality

In order to get information about a family member or friend’s treatment, they will need to sign a consent for release of information that gives their doctor or therapist permission to talk to you; discuss this with your loved one before and during their treatment.

Coordinate care and payment for treatment

  • If you are a family member or close friend of someone who is in inpatient care, you may be asked to coordinate with the hospital or facility providing this care during treatment and at discharge
  • Dealing with an insurance company when you are having, or have just had, a behavioral health crisis can be stressful; one way to be supportive may be to help your loved one get information about what their insurance will cover and how much they will owe for their treatment

Take care of yourself

Find support for yourself; options include talking to a therapist or finding a support group, such as NAMI or Al-Anon.