Asking for help isn’t always easy.
If you struggle with your mental health, you may already be getting help from a mental health professional. But the support from the people around you can make all the difference on your road to recovery.
We offer some advice if you’re not sure how to ask for help when you’re depressed or having a hard time.
Face the feelings
Acknowledging you’re struggling, naming the feelings, and identifying your triggers can help you gain insight into your situation. This can make it easier to communicate your struggles to someone else.
Even if you don’t want to – or simply can’t – describe exactly what you’re feeling or explain why you’re feeling so down, it can still help to admit you’re not feeling your best. Simply sharing that with someone you trust can be an important first step and stop you from feeling stuck or alone.
Identify your needs
What would help you feel better right now? What do you need from your friends, family, or workplace to improve your situation or get you through it a little easier?
For example, you might just need a friend to listen when you need someone to talk to. You might need your partner or family to help with self-care and errands. Or maybe you need to lighten your load and increase flexibility at work.
It can help to clarify your needs and expectations before reaching out. Consider what you hope to get out of the conversation beforehand.
Speak up when you feel most comfortable
Some people prefer to seek help when they’re having a good day, as they might feel they have more control over their emotions and can express themselves more clearly.
Some might like to slip it into conversation casually, while others might choose to schedule a time to specifically discuss the topic.
There’s no right or wrong way to reach out for help. Whether you’re approaching friends and loved ones, your GP, or a mental health professional, they can help you cope with your symptoms – all you have to do is ask.
RAQ offers professional and confidential counselling for anyone who’s doing it tough. You can learn more about our counselling service here, or call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment in person, over the phone, or via Zoom.
You and/or your loved ones might find our tips to support someone with depression or anxiety helpful.