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How to ask for help with your mental health

How to ask for help with your mental health

We all have days when we feel anxious, worried, sad or angry. Having emotions like these are a normal part of life in response to challenging things that happen to us, and can let us know that we need to take action. 

If you’ve been dealing with difficult feelings on your own for a while, particularly if you’re finding it difficult to do the things you need to do, such as concentrating day to day or sleeping well, then reaching out and asking for help is important. Talking to someone can help ensure you get the support you need to overcome the challenges you’re facing. 

Reaching out for help can feel intimidating, particularly when you’re already feeling anxious or low. You may be worried about who to turn to, particularly if you’ve tried talking about how you feel to someone before, and it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped. 

Who can I to talk to? 

You might already know who you want to talk to. It could be: 

  • A friend. 

  • A family member. 

  • A mental health first aider (MHFA)  

If you’re not sure who to talk to, think about who you trust and feel comfortable talking to. Have you talked to someone in the past who’s been particularly helpful? 

Once you’ve decided who might be the best person to talk to, think about what you need from talking to them and what you want to tell them. You may not be sure what this is, but it might include: 

  • Space to talk about things that are happening in your life which are concerning you. 

  • A particular problem that you need to talk about. 

  • Talking about difficult thoughts or feelings. 

  • What has prompted you to ask for help now. 

  • Talking about what you could do to start feeling better. 

  • Discussing options to get extra support if you need it. 

It’s OK to start by saying: “I’m having a hard time and I don’t know what to say.”