“Remember you're not the problem, it's the symptoms. Don't blame yourself, but accept help to tackle the symptoms.”
Seeking help can sometimes feel like a big step. You may wonder: Is it the right time? Will I be judged? Will people understand? It’s natural to have these thoughts, but when you’re experiencing a mental health condition, seeking help is an important step towards getting better.
Talking to someone you know and trust can be very helpful. It may be that this person has noticed changes in you as well, so a conversation would benefit both of you. You may prefer to talk with a GP, teacher, a coach, a counsellor/psychologist or a peer who has gone through something similar.
Digital mental health resources can often be just as effective as talking to someone face-to-face. So if you’re not comfortable talking to someone in person, that may be the way to go. Whatever you choose, trust is a very important factor.
Help-seeking is an opportunity for you to talk about how your mental ill-health is affecting your daily life. It is your experience, so you should let the person you are sharing with know if you would like to keep it private, if you want their advice or help, or if you’d just prefer they listen.
It may take time for you to open up, and that’s okay. When people understand the challenges you are facing, they are in a better position to support you.
There is plenty of information available to help you find support; we have some resources further down this page. We also have information on what you can do right now, and a page where you can find digital services and resources.
A closer look
Understanding mental health can lead to help-seeking
It's natural to be reluctant to seek help
GPs are often the first stop for people seeking help
I have noticed that since I’ve become open about mental health issues, a lot of my family have become open about their own problems. They feel comfortable talking to me about their problems because they know that I’ve gone through a similar thing.
Free online forums are one of the best resources I have ever found. I can go there and say that I’m struggling, and I'll get a response. There’s always someone who understands. I think they’re awesome!
Don't be overwhelmed by medical jargon or the negative connotations of mental illness. We are all individuals and will experience its impact differently. Find out as much as you can and never be afraid to ask questions. Knowledge about your condition and treatment will make navigating this daunting situation easier. And try not to lose your sense of self or the hope that there will be better days ahead.
I grew up in a place that's very poor. People like us didn’t go to therapists. We couldn't afford that kind of stuff, and this meant I didn't get the help I needed until it became a crisis. Getting help early on is so important.