change, grow, live – health and social care charity

Help someone else

two people talking

Are you worried about someone who has drug and alcohol problems or mental or emotional health needs? 

Our services provide various different types of support and whatever your needs, we will be able to point you in the right direction to get the appropriate help and advice.

For example, you may benefit from one-to-one support or you might prefer to join a group where you can share your experiences and gain support from others who are tackling similar problems. Whatever you choose to do, you are guaranteed a warm welcome and an opportunity to talk about your concerns with someone who understands your worries and can guide you towards practical solutions and support.

How to raise your concerns

Telling someone that you are worried about their health or behaviour is often difficult. You may struggle to find the right words and the right moment. The person you are concerned about may be reluctant to admit they have a problem – perhaps because they feel ashamed, guilty or embarrassed. They may refuse to consider doing anything positive to change their situation and they may be angry and defensive.

Our staff can advise you about how to raise your concerns and how to encourage the person to think about getting help.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Avoid negative or blaming language – talk instead about how much you care and make it clear you want to help and support them.
  • Be patient. If they don’t want to talk about their problems, putting pressure on them won't help. Instead, let them know you are there for them, and try again another time when you think they might be more willing to talk.
  • Suggest they get in touch with a local support service like change, grow, live (CGL) for an informal chat about their situation. They’ll receive a warm welcome from expert staff and won’t be under any pressure to take up treatment or support.
  • It can be frustrating and upsetting if the person refuses to accept they have an issue. Whatever the problem, making changes can be difficult, so it is important to be as supportive as possible and recognise that even small steps are an achievement.

Support for you

We know that having the support of a family member or friend makes a huge difference to someone’s chances of making positive changes in their life. However, supporting someone who has health needs, such as an addiction or mental health problems, can put families under huge strain.

Most people feel overwhelmed by trying to cope with someone else’s mental health or addiction problems (they often occur together). You are likely to experience feelings of guilt and may wonder if you are to blame for the problem. At other times you are likely to feel hopeless, ashamed, isolated, depressed and angry.

Talking to others who know about what you are going through can really help you deal with these worries. Our support services can help you protect your own quality of life, health and wellbeing and can give you the strength to help the person you care about tackle their problems too.

Here are some ideas about how you can look after yourself:

  • Don’t try to do everything. Ask someone else to take over things at home, or decide to let things just take care of themselves for a while.
  • Go along to your nearest family support group to talk and share experiences.
  • Make time to do something nice just for you: re-start activities you enjoy that you may have let slide as life became harder.

What to do if someone reacts badly

Some people may react badly to the suggestion that they have a problem and may become aggressive or violent. If you are worried that this might happen, make sure you have a plan in place to protect yourself.

  • Have an emergency bag packed with a change of clothes and your essential and important documents in case you need to leave suddenly.
  • Identify a family member or close friend who would be willing to make their home a place of safety for you.
  • Keep the number of your local domestic abuse service(s) on your person at all times or put it on your mobile phone.
  • Call 999 in an emergency.

Don’t suffer in silence and isolation

Click here to see the CGL services that offer support for families and carers.

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