Seeking Help for Someone Else


I need help for someone else.

When a person is struggling with an addiction or a mental health concern, every member of that person’s family is impacted in some way.

Often by the time you have decided to seek information on the web, and have found this page, you and your family may have been suffering for a long time.

Mental illness and addictions should always be taken seriously as they are chronic relapsing conditions that affect mental and physical health but also impact the lives of those around them. By reading this page you’ve taken an important first step, for them, but also for yourself.

There are likely be a number of concerns that you are dealing with, some of which may include:

  • Increasing conflict, tension, resentment and stress in the family
  • Communication difficulties
  • Unpredictable behaviours
  • Financial stress and tension
  • Breakdown of trust
  • Managing negative consequences such as debts, legal issues, health problems
  • Shame  (family members may feel ashamed of problems and make efforts to hide them)
  • Fear and uncertainty for the future
  • Protecting vulnerable family members such as children

There is no doubt that support from family, friends and partners plays a significant role in the recovery process for anyone struggling with mental health concerns or addictions. Yet, finding the right help and knowing what to say when there is a problem can be overwhelming. You might be wondering how to broach the subject, what to say, how to address it or feel fear about the response you might receive.

Educating yourself about mental illness and addiction is the foundation of support and we hope to help support you with some tough conversations and decisions.


If someone shares that they are having a tough time, or even if they don’t, there are a number of things you can do to provide support.

They may not reach out for help straight away as they may not be ready, but regardless it’s important that you consider how you address the problem. This list might provide some useful ideas for you to consider in your conversations and actions.

  • Listen – give space to talk if they are ready
  • Let them know that you care, support them and offer reassurance
  • Suggest they consider speaking with a healthcare professional, their GP for example, as it might help them to feel better or to get a better understanding of what’s happening for them. A medical opinion may also be a helpful support for you and them.
  • Try not to judge or make assumptions – you may believe you understand what is happening for them, but your perspective might not be helpful in this moment
  • Manage your expectations – people may not ask for help as quickly as you’d like them to
  • Do your own research and look for information that might be helpful – you could present this when and if the time feels right

How do I get someone I care about into treatment?

One of the most challenging aspects of addiction, mental illness and trauma-related conditions is the powerlessness that friends and family members feel as they watch problems unfold. The reality is that denial is one of the symptoms of the disease and minimization of problems is very common.

If the person you are concerned about is motivated to get treatment all they need to do is make that first call to the Client Care Team. You can also call the team at any time 24/7 to ask for guidance about the next steps for a family member. You might also be interested to find out about the family education programs available that can support you during this time. 

Please call 1800 063 332 for more information.


At South Pacific Private the needs of families and carers are considered an integral part of the treatment experience. Both current research and our experience tell us that people embrace recovery more effectively when family members also have the opportunity to engage in educational and support programs designed to meet their needs.

Treatment options specifically designed to support your unique situation include:

Family Education and Support Group

This group is designed to meet the needs of people who want to understand what’s happening in a family system at a time when a loved one is struggling with addictions or mood disorders.

Family Program

This program supports families to explore some difficult and challenge issues that may not have been effectively addressed within their family unit. The 4-day program teaches listening, communication and conflict resolution skills in a confidential and safe environment.

Children’s Program

The Children’s Program is a prevention and intervention program for children aged 6-13 years who are affected by addiction or untreated mental illness in the family system. This program is designed both as a preventative measure and an educational tool for children and their parents. The aim of the program is to provide a much-needed service to children to effectively learn how to convey their feelings and to understand, in an age-appropriate way, what might be happening in their family.

To find out more about these programs in detail please click here.

South Pacific Private is here to help when you or someone you love experiences difficulties with addictions, trauma or with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.

JOHN: I thought that I drank so much because I had all these problems. I didn’t realise that all my problems were directly related to how much I drank. From what my life was then, to how it is now, is so extraordinarily different.


Find out if you have a problem

The goal of our self-tests is not to provide you with a diagnosis for yourself or for someone you care about. Instead, they are an opportunity for you to better understand how a behaviour might be impacting upon your life or the life of your family. Use these tests to enhance your awareness of what the problem might be. These tests should be answered honestly in order to provide accurate insight and are a chance for you to reflect upon the current situation.


Find out if you have a problem.
Take our quiz for (select one below):