How to Ask for Mental Health Support

September 16, 2021

Asking others for help is not always an easy thing to do. There is still a stigma that exists around mental health that makes people more hesitant to seek out support. Some may believe that they are inadequate or a failure if they admit that something is wrong. Or they may feel like they should be able to handle things on their own. However, suffering in silence can be incredibly harmful. We need to normalize asking for help. We shouldn’t feel like we have to wait until a crisis to seek support. The truth is that reaching out shows a great amount of courage, not weakness. And it can make a huge difference in everyone’s mental health.

We can seek out support for many different reasons. Here are just a few signs you might want to ask for more help:

  • You’re worrying more than usual
  • You find it hard to enjoy your life
  • You have thoughts and feelings that are difficult to cope with 
  • You want to receive more support or treatment for your mental health struggles

Once you’ve decided you want to ask for more support, here are a few tips:

Consider Who You Want to Reach Out to

First, you may want to take some time to consider who you want to reach out to for support. Consider which family members or friends you feel like you can trust and feel supported by. 

Find the Right Time

Try to find a time that is free of distractions for the both of you to talk. It may be easier for you to express your current feelings if you feel like you can both be fully present and comfortable in your environment. 

Let Them Know What You Need

Lastly, try to be clear about what you need in terms of support. Friends or family can help you find information or more resources, talk things over with you, come with you to appointments, help with everyday tasks, or simply provide encouragement and loving support. 

Know that it’s okay if you’re struggling and don’t know exactly what to ask for in terms of help. Simply expressing that you don’t want to be alone right now can be equally as comforting. It’s also okay if you don’t want to talk about what you’re going through in the moment, and to ask for a healthy distraction as a form of support too. Even when we don’t know exactly what we need or don’t want to open up completely just yet, we can still lean on the people by our side who care. 

One Last Note

When you are struggling with your mental health, remember that you don’t have to go through it alone and that you deserve support. It’s always okay to ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t make us weak. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Asking for help is a way of showing strength and advocating for our needs.

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