A guide to getting the support you need.
Asking for help isn’t always easy when you’re struggling with your mental health. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings or worry that opening up will leave you feeling even more vulnerable. You may not know who to turn to or worry that you might confide in the wrong person. You may even feel like you’re a burden. But the best thing you can do if you’re feeling down is to talk about it. There is lots of support out there and we want you to get the best care possible. That’s why we’re here to help you ask for the help you need.
Choose Your Confidante
Have a think about who you want to talk to. Consider who you feel most comfortable with. You might prefer to talk about how you’re feeling with someone you don’t know, rather than a friend or family member, and that’s perfectly OK. Lots of people feel this way. You can reach out to:
- A friend
- Parent or family member
- A teacher you feel comfortable with
- School counsellor or guidance teacher
- Your GP
- Hidden Strength counsellors who are available on our free app
- Childline 0800 11 11
Hidden Strength app:
If you’re feeling particularly low and are struggling to deal with your mental health, please make an appointment with your doctor. A doctor can help you decide if medication like antidepressants might work for you, which some people find helpful.
It can help to have a note of everything you want to say, especially if you choose to talk to your doctor. Make a note of how you’ve been feeling, how your mental health is affecting your day-to-day life and what you want to achieve. For example, if you’ve been struggling with anxiety, you might write:
Feeling: Anxious, nauseous, teary, butterflies in tummy, can’t sleep, worried, panicky.
Affects: Sleep, schoolwork, friendships, appetite.
Achieve: Feeling more able to cope with everyday life. Better sleep. Want to feel less stressed about going to school and managing homework. Want to be able to go out with friends without feeling anxious.
These notes will help you get your point across to make sure the other person fully understands how your mental health is affecting your life.
Asking For Help
Getting the initial words out can be the hardest part but once you do, we promise you will feel as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Stuck for what to say? Keep it simple and honest with one of these openers:
- “I’m not OK and I need help with my mental health”
- “I’m really struggling at the moment. Can I talk to you about it?”
- “I really need someone to talk to. I’m not OK.”
If you find it difficult to speak up, you can always send a message with these words to get the conversation started. Never suffer in silence – there is always help out there.
Never forget that everyone needs a helping hand every now and again. You’ll be amazed at the support that’s waiting for you – all you have to do is take a deep breath, tell someone that you’re not OK, and let them to help you through the tough times.