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Professional Support

If things are feeling beyond you, here's how you can access professional support, and what to expect if you do.

Getting extra help 

If you or the young person you’re supporting don’t feel that they need urgent help, but you still think that things aren’t right, it could be time to ask for some professional advice.

A great place to start is by making an appointment with a General Practitioner (GP) at your local medical centre. Or you might like to call a community mental health team or counselling service. They could also try contacting one of the helplines or services on our Support Services page.

Going to the doctor

  • When someone goes to see a doctor, they are allowed to take someone with them. You can suggest you go together, but respect their decision if they choose to go alone. Perhaps you could offer to pick them up or drop them off
  • They can ask for a longer appointment time if there is a lot to talk through
  • Encourage them to make notes about how they've been feeling and what they've been experiencing, so they can remember what to say
  • Let them know they can ask questions if the doctor says something they don’t understand or are unsure about
  • If they would like to see a counsellor, the doctor can give them a referral

Seeing a counsellor

  • A counsellor is someone who is trained to help talk through any life problems, or difficult thoughts or feelings a young person might be having. They help people to think about ways they could deal with the issue
  • You could suggest seeing a counsellor together if you're both coping with the same problems, or if you are having a hard time in your relationship with each other
  • Let them know they don’t have to stick with the first counsellor they meet with. It's okay to try seeing someone else if the first one isn’t right
  • A doctor can give a referral to see a counsellor and they will get some sessions for free

Understanding the system

It can be difficult knowing how to support a young person when they confide to you they would like support for their wellbeing and mild to moderate mental health distress - especially if you are also new to understanding the system.

Knowing a young person’s rights, privacy and learning ways to support can be difficult to manage and understand all at once.

This resource is a guideline for anyone who is supporting a young person through this process. This resource will help you and the support network that you are a part of to understand the different ways that you can help a young person through difficult times.

If you would like more information about how to access support in your area, the following links have regional service maps to help you locate what you need.  

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