Seeking assistance is often the first step towards becoming and staying well, but it can be difficult to know where and how to get started.
It’s common to feel uncertain and wonder if you should try to handle things yourself. But it’s always ok to ask for help – even if you’re not sure that you’re having a specific mental health issue. The following are just a few of the most common symptoms that you may have if you are struggling with your mental health:
• worrying unnecessarily
• not enjoying life
• having feelings and thoughts that are difficult to cope with that have an impact on your daily life
• interested in finding more support or treatment, you might want help.
Who can I turn to?
There are plenty of support options out there, though you might find that some are more suitable for you, or more readily available. There’s no wrong order to try things in—various things work at different times for different people.
Your doctor (GP)
Our local GP practice is for many of us the first place we go when we’re unwell). Your doctor is there to help with both your mental and physical health.
The NHS has many mental health services available to people in the UK. However, waiting times can often be long. Having private healthcare is a good way to combat this problem and get access to help anytime or anywhere.
Both the NHS and private healthcare providers can assist you by:
• making a diagnosis
• providing you with support and treatments (such as talking therapies and medication)
• referring you to a specialist in mental health, such as a psychiatrist
• recommending local support.
A Certified therapist
You can be referred to trained therapists and counsellors by your doctor in the NHS scheme (if you live in the UK). This is known as secondary care. In some cases, you may be able to directly contact a therapist.
Family, friends, neighbours and caregivers
Just talking to someone you know about how you’re feeling will help sometimes. This can help in many ways, such as:
• helping you find information
• discussing with you your options
• going to appointments with you
• helping with everyday tasks
• giving encouragement and support.
The social network puts people with common backgrounds together. your peers can:
- help you and hear how you feel
- give empathy and compassion
- Share insights, information, self-care ideas and alternatives for support.
What if I’m finding it difficult to seek help?
What if I’m having a hard time seeking help?
It’s not always easy to seek help, particularly when you’re not feeling well. It can be time-consuming and not straightforward. There are always going to be things stopping you from seeking help, but it is important that you try to overcome these barriers.
Much of what you do to care for yourself will be in your daily life – not just when you seek professional help – so it’s always worth thinking about what generally helps you feel better. Self-care and honesty about how well you re coping can be great for getting some of that weigh-off of your shoulders and taking the first steps to recovery. Remembering that you aren’t alone, and you deserve support is important.