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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Support for families & friends of people with psychosis

If you are close to someone with a psychotic disorder the way you support them will be very important in their recovery. When they are unwell they may not realise that what they think and believe is not real, and that they are unwell. This can leave them (and anyone who depends on them) at risk.

It can be challenging to care for a loved one who is unwell but doesn't want to accept your help. It is normal to feel guilty or disloyal in this situation. However, remember that your loved one is not thinking properly, they are vulnerable to harm right now, and when they are well again they are likely to thank you for getting involved.

Who can help?


Call or make an appointment with the person's GP or practice nurse to talk about your concerns. If your friend or family member has become unwell, their GP can get them assessed by a mental health team.

West Coast DHB Specialist Mental Health Service

This is the major supplier of mental health services on the West Coast. You can find out more about the service on this page.

Family members and friends can contact the Mental Health Service directly if they are worried about the safety and health of someone who may be having a psychotic episode.

Community agencies

Cornerstone Family Support is a free, confidential and mobile service that provides peer support, education and advocacy for families of people with psychotic disorders.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Psychosis & young people

Information provided by the Canterbury DHB. Adapted by the West Coast DHB. Last reviewed July 2016. Last updated May 2019.


Page reference: 250971

Review key: HIPSY-124133