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Supports for carers, family and friends

When a loved one has a mental health problem, it can be worrying for everyone. But it is important to look after your own mental health too.

Talk to someone

Have someone to talk to about the things that worry you. Supporting someone with a mental health problem can be confusing and challenging at times. It’s OK to ask for help.

Support groups

You could join a support group for family, friends and carers. These are usually run by community and voluntary groups.

You will meet others who also care for loved ones at the groups.

You may want to share experiences and ideas. This can help you manage the unique challenges of mental health problems.

The following charities provide support groups:

Shine offers support for families, carers and friends of people with mental health difficulties.


This charity provides support for a range of mental health conditions including:

  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • anxiety



Bodywhys is the Eating Disorders Association for Ireland. It provides support for carers of people with conditions such as:

  • anorexia nervosa
  • bulimia



Grow is a charity that provides peer support groups for people with mental health issues.


HSE services

The services we may offer include:

  • family therapy
  • home care
  • day-centre care support services

Contact your GP to access these supports.

You and your friend or family member may also agree to talk to your local HSE mental health team. The team will listen to your experience and offer practical advice.

'Journey Together' is a guide for families and friends. It has advice on how to help people with mental health problems.

Download the 'Family, Carer and Supporter Guide' booklet (PDF, size 869KB, 33 pages)

Supports for children and young people

'Learning about mental illness' is a booklet for children. It can help them understand mental illness when a family member has a problem.

Download the 'Learning about mental illness' booklet —

Our 'Youth mental health resource' booklet provides support and advice for young people.

Download the HSE's 'Youth mental health resource' booklet (PDF, 1.74 MB, 28 pages)

Page last reviewed: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025