Tips for partners
If your partner is experiencing a mental health condition, you might need to ‘take the initiative’. We’ve got a few ideas to help you get started.
- Remember that mental health conditions are more common during pregnancy and after childbirth. Encourage your partner to see a health professional if you’re concerned about her. You may need to make the initial phone call and take her to the first appointment.
- Choose a time when you’re both calm and not too distracted, and talk about some of the things you’ve noticed. It may be useful to look at this site together. Try to be understanding, even if you’re both tired and cranky.
- Try to maintain good, open communication. Listen to her feelings and thoughts and find out what you can do to help.
- Spend time listening, without feeling the need to offer solutions.
- Fight the urge to give advice on how to parent, unless she asks for it.
- Offer to spend time looking after the baby or older children, or discuss other childcare options so that each of you can have time to yourself.
- Offer to help with housework like cooking and cleaning.
- Let your partner know how well she is doing when she makes small gains.
- Encourage your partner to use self-care strategies such as eating well, joining a mothers’ group, exercising regularly and limiting drug and alcohol use.
- Supporting someone with depression or anxiety can be a challenge. It’s important to take time out and look after yourself too.