How friends and family can help

If you’re concerned about the mental health and behaviour of your friend or family member it can be difficult knowing what you can do to help them, especially if they don’t want to seek help themselves.

To start with, I’m happy to have an appointment with you and other concerned family members without your relative or friend being present if that’s easier.

We can discuss a way forward, which may result in your friend or family member agreeing to see me for a face-to-face meeting. Or it may give us an opportunity to find a route of referral into the local NHS community based services, if that’s more appropriate.

Getting a referral

If your relative or friend has private insurance, a letter of referral will need to come from their GP if they want to claim my fees back though this may be difficult if they choose not to attend an appointment.

If they don’t have insurance, or you don’t want your GP involved, a GP referral isn’t absolutely necessary, although it’s preferable so I can get a complete picture.

The appointment

You’re more than welcome to attend the appointment with your friend or relative, if they’re happy to have you there. It’s up to them and it’s often useful for me to hear different points of view. Sometimes it’s a good idea if you join us for part of the appointment and then step out for the other part.

It’s also useful if medication that’s being taken (including alternative, homeopathic, and over the counter medicine) is brought to the appointment in the original containers, along with an up-to-date prescription list.

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