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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the best approach to try and get a friend to seek help for Anxiety?

    I am not a health professional and have a friend who I think suffers from anxiety. What is the best approach to try and get them to seek help? Any suggestions would be appreciated. 
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Anthony Berrick

    Psychologist

    Excellent advice from Liz!

    Of course you'd feel nervous about bringing up something like this. If it was me, I'd start by saying just that. Something like:

    "Mate, I feel really nervous about bringing this up, but I'm worried about you because you haven't seemed your usual self lately. Are you okay?"

    To be honest, how you say it is much more important than what you say. If you talk to them honestly and compassionately, I can't possibly imagine them reacting negatively. If you say it while giggling nervously or in an overly casual way, they might sense that you don't feel comfortable talking about it and give you an answer they think you want to hear, just to reassure you.

    It will certainly take guts on your part to have that conversation because you'll probably feel quite nervous about it, but you'd be an awesome friend for doing it. Hope it goes well!

  • David 'Bhakti' Gotlieb has 30yrs experience and brings understandng, compassion and surgical precision that gets results for his clients.He developed ‘Healing Inner Conflict’ a simple, … View Profile

    In my experience the best approach is to find a way to engage with them on their level regarding how it affects them in way that they would like to be different. Once they are talking to you about the ways that the anxiety is affecting their well being then, and often only then, can you begin to eplore possible options for accessing help. Usually, you will find many reasons why the person hasnt previously and isn't doing so now. It is essential to engage with them around each of their reasons and take them to their logical conclusions. Often, they do not lead to logical conclusions and then the person is able to see the flaws in their own ability to self care. That then becomes a starting point for seeking help. Happy to help if all else fails.

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