How to Ask for Help with Your Mental Health

Are you struggling to ask for help with your mental health? We understand. Asking for help is one of the hardest things to do. Take the time to gain an understanding of your mental health, compile a list of potential helpers, discuss the potential benefits and challenges, and create a plan to open up a conversation. With these tips, you’ll be on the right path to receiving the help you need.  

Tip #1: Develop an Understanding of Your Mental Health   

The first step to asking for help with your mental health is to develop an understanding of it. Becoming educated and informed about mental health can be incredibly beneficial, particularly in challenging and difficult times. There is a ton of information available online, in books, and through other resources. These resources offer insight into common mental health conditions like anxietydepressionbipolar disorderobsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and more. Taking the time to research and gain knowledge can help you better identify and understand the mental health issues present in your life.   

Alongside your educational research, it is also important to examine and explore your own mental health. Consider your mental health triggers, changes in effective coping strategies, and overall well-being. Connect with yourself and open subconscious and conscious awareness to the emotion and thoughts you experience during different situations. This connection can help you gain a clear picture of your mental health and determine how best to address the present issues.   

Additionally, you do not need to experience a crisis in order to reach out for help. If you are in a moment of crisis, reach out to places like the National Suicide Hotline, call 911, or ask loved ones to stay with you until help arrives. Your safety is your number one priority, and getting immediate help is crucial during a crisis. However, if you are NOT in a crisis but feel like you aren’t your best self or want to improve your overall well-being, reaching out for help is still valid.  

Finally, don’t forget to connect with your physical health. Do you have physical health symptoms, like headaches or stomachaches? If yes, these physical symptpms could actually be caused by poor mental health and/or they could be an indicator of further health issues. Ultimately, developing a comprehensive understanding of your mental health can make all the difference when deciding whether and how to ask for help.  

Tip #2: Compile a List of Potential Helpers   

When asking for help with mental health, it is important to have a list of potential helpers on hand. It is beneficial to identify who has helped you in the past, or people who you may feel comfortable confiding in. Additionally, investigating services and support groups in your community who may be able to provide the necessary help is extremely valuable.   

Utilizing a variety of sources of potential help is key in finding the help that is right for you. Consider turning to family members, close friends, religious or spiritual figures, specialized counselors, or even telephone helplines. Another great resource is online and printed literature, which can be read from the comfort of home and gained anonymously if you prefer.   

When asking for help, it is important to compile a list of these potential helpers in order to cultivate the most satisfying and beneficial solution for your mental health. Sometimes a single source of help may not be enough to provide lasting and meaningful support, but your list of potential remedies for mental health can focus the path to your desired outcome.  

Tip #3: Consider the Potential Benefits & Challenges   

When asking for help with mental health, you should take the time to consider the potential benefits and challenges of doing so. Initially, it can be daunting due to the still-lingering stigma associated with seeking help for mental health related issues.   

Learn how the mental health stigma is changing.  

The potential benefits, however, are numerous. Firstly, with the help of a trained professional, like a therapist or psychiatrist, individuals can become more self-aware. Through therapy, one can gain more control over how they interact with, and respond to, the world. In addition, one of the biggest potential benefits of seeking help is that it can provide individuals with the support and guidance to develop healthier coping strategies to address their issues and improve both their overall wellbeing and quality of life.   

The potential challenges of asking for help with mental health are also essential to consider. It’s important to recognize that seeking help is an emotionally and mentally taxing process. As a result, individuals should be prepared to be patient while they explore coping mechanisms and navigate their emotions. It may also be beneficial to have an understanding of any potential financial burdens associated with seeking treatment and to check with providers if your insurance is accepted. Lastly, it’s vital to find a professional who you trust to help in your mental health journey.  

What mental health provider is right for you?  

Tip #4: Create a Plan & Have an Open Conversation   

When it comes to asking for help with your mental health, it can be difficult to know where to start. Developing a plan and having an open conversation with a trusted helper is key to breaking through this uncertainty.   

Creating a plan consists of identifying steps you are comfortable taking and determining the applicable outcomes. For example, if you decide to talk to your friend, consider the context of your relationship and what you want to gain from this interaction. Is your goal to establish a support system or just to open up and vent? And to clarify, your helper should not and cannot take the role of your provider. They are not there to actively help you solve your problems. Rather, they are there to offer support while you get help for your mental health. Articulating what you want from the conversation before it happens will help focus your talk and keep it productive.   

An open conversation should be a safe and confidential space for you and your helper. Before engaging in this dialogue, it is important to think about topics you are willing to share and boundaries you wish to keep. Being upfront and honest about what you need can lead to a stronger relationship with your helper.   

Additionally, expressing care and gratitude towards your helper will show them that you are taking this discussion seriously. When having an open conversation, be sure to be respectful and never dismiss feedback that could potentially be beneficial. The power of an open conversation lies in its vulnerability and its ability to foster support.  

Asking for help with your mental health can be challenging, but by taking the time to gain an understanding of your mental health, compile a list of potential helpers, discuss the potential benefits and challenges, and create a plan to open up a conversation, you can feel empowered to take the steps towards improving your mental health. With these tips, you can feel supported and cared for in your journey toward better mental well-being. 

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