Starting the Conversation

  • When a family member is drinking too much, using drugs, or struggling with a mental disorder, your  support can be key to getting them the treatment they need. Starting the conversation is the first step  to getting help

    How You Can Help

    1. IDENTIFY AN APPROPRIATE TIME AND PLACE. Consider a private setting with limited distractions, such as at home or on a walk.

    2. EXPRESS CONCERNS AND BE DIRECT.Ask how they are feeling and describe the  reasons for your concern

    3. ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR FEELINGS AND LISTEN. Listen openly, actively, and without judgement. 

    4. OFFER TO HELP. Provide reassurance that mental and/or substance use disorders are treatable. Help them locate and connect to treatment services.

    5. BE PATIENT. Recognize that helping your loved one doesn’t happen overnight. Continue reaching out with  offers to listen and help. 


    For more resources, visit
    If you or someone you know needs help,  call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 

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