Sunday 10th October marks World Mental Health Day. In recent years thanks to research, campaigning and the spreading of awareness, mental health is finally getting recognised as being just as important as our physical health. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go- since stigma still exists.
We’re discussing the importance of opening up and asking for help. Accepting that you need help is the hardest part, but there’s ways you can make it easier for you to open up.
We’ve put together some helpful tips that can help you to open up about how you feel and seek help…
Confide in loved ones or people that you trust
Who are the people around you that you trust the most? Opening up to loved ones who you are confident speaking to about how you feel is key to taking the first step in asking for help. It doesn’t even have to be close family or friends, if there is someone you know you can trust and speak to with ease- confide in them.
If talking in person is hard, start off with text
If it’s too difficult to talk in person to a loved one about how you’re feeling, start by writing it down on a text. Even a phone call may be easier than meeting in person. Don’t make it too difficult for yourself- do what’s most comfortable for you.
Use reliable online sources that can help
Reading online sources from the NHS website or mental health charities such as Mind are a great place to start. These reliable sources can help you understand how you may be feeling, and encourage you to seek the help you may need.
Write down your feelings in a journal
Writing a daily note of your feelings is not just great for referring back to in future for when you’re ready to seek help, but its also a chance to help you feel better. Writing your feelings down in a diary is a chance to take any stressful worries out of your head, which can sometimes be a huge weight off of your shoulders.
Always remember that you’re not alone
Did you know that 1 in 4 of us suffer with a mental health problem at one point in our life? This is 25% of the population, (over 1 billion people.) It goes to show how common mental health is, and that you’re not alone.
Services are created to help you in any hours of need, whether that be a helpline or a mental health website containing helpful resources, since mental health is just as important as our physical health. Always reach out for help if you need it and know that you’re not alone.
For support, here are some helpful links:
- Samaritans: They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call Samaritans for free, or visit their website here: https://www.samaritans.org
- Mind: Mind are a mental health charity who provide plenty of support and advice over on their website: https://www.mind.org.uk.
- NHS: the NHS website also provide lots of helpful and supportive links and advice https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/nhs-voluntary-charity-services/charity-and-voluntary-services/get-help-from-mental-health-helplines/
What to do if somebody talks to you about mental health?
- Listen- the most important step. Be an ear for that person and don’t interrupt, speak once they have finished.
- Respect their wishes- unless the person who is opening up to you plans to put them-self or anybody else in danger, respect their wishes if they ask you to keep the conversation to yourself. Whilst doing this, do also encourage them to seek help.
- Don’t put too much pressure on them- being pushy may have the opposite affect. You don’t want to make something feel uncomfortable and unable to trust you when they open up to you.
- Check in on them when you can- Suggest a weekly catch up- whether its a short phone call, a walk in the park or a catch-up for coffee. Sometimes all a person needs who is suffering is support and a bit of company to help them get by. However, don’t ever burn yourself out in the process of looking out for somebody else.