How to Refer Someone

These guidelines may be helpful to you in your interaction with a friend, work colleague, or relative you think could benefit from therapy:

  • Consider the person's emotional reaction to the referral and approach with compassion
  • Speak with the person openly, while being honest and direct without being judgemental
  • Be specific-Share your observations of the person's behavior that lead you to conclude that a referral is advisable or necessary
  • Avoid any negative comments or implications about personality or character
  • Encourage the person to express their thoughts and feelings
  • Respect the person's right to reject the referral suggestion
  • If the friend, work colleague, or relative has talked about suicide or harming others, be clear with the person that you will need to notify someone in authority to help assist with the situation
  • In serious and/or imminent situations you may wish to contact 911 to ask for assistance or accompany the person to the nearest hospital emergency room Emergency Information