First Steps to Getting Help for Mental Health Issues

Getting help for anything can be hard. For mental health? In my experience, it can be one of the most difficult things to do. There are so many reasons for why people can’t get the help they need. A lack of information and resources can make people feel like it’s more work than it’s worth. Figuring out how to find affordable mental health care can be another mountain to climb (insurance, you suck). And of course, there is the stigma of it all. So let’s take it back to the beginning. If you – or someone you know – is struggling with mental health issues, how can you take the first step to get help? Here are some things to consider.

Do Some Research – Within Reason

It may sound weird, but one of the first things I did when I was struggling was search things on the Internet. I would put in very vague phrases because I didn’t know what was wrong. Why am I sad all the time; why do I hate myself; what’s wrong with me? were all early web searches – definitely not the best way to find information, but I didn’t know how to find resources for depression and anxiety! Of course, once I did, there was a mountain of information to sift through, so be careful to not get caught up in it. And please, for all that is good, don’t self-diagnose.

Find Someone to Talk To

This is, arguably, one of the hardest things to do. If you’re going through life with a mental health disorder, or are struggling to cope with a mental illness, it can be hard to find people to confide in. One of the reasons for this is that sometimes, the people that we confide in about mental health aren’t necessarily the people we’re closest to, but people who understand our pain. I know as I was figuring out how to deal with my mental health, I talked to so many people that I wouldn’t have expected to, but it helped. Don’t worry about if it’s the ‘right’ person – you’re not looking for The One! You’re looking for someone who will listen. And even if it’s just one conversation, it can help lift that burden.

Find A Mental Health Professional

While it’s always helpful to help people who are struggling during their rough periods, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do when you realize there’s only so much they can do. Often, the solution is to say that they should ‘go to therapy’ but what does that even mean? Look at this Healthline article about how to find therapy. I wrote papers in college that were shorter than this – there’s so much information here! It’s helpful, but it’s also overwhelming.

Since ‘therapist’ is a buzzword, people can forget all the other ways we can find a mental health professional who will talk with us. But there are so many professionals out there, just like there are so many types of therapy. Like other things in the mental health space, it isn’t always easy to navigate. But once you’re in that world, things make a little more sense and you can begin to find what works for you.

There’s More Than One Way to Get Help

When seeking help, it’s easy to fall into the trap that there is a ‘right’ way to do all this, but that’s not true. There is no one correct way to get help because we’re all different with our own situations. You have to do what feels comfortable and what works. There might not one right way, but there will be ways to work best. And you can only figure those out by taking that first step to get help.

Even though Mental Health Awareness Month is ending, we can’t stop talking, advocating and working for ways to be mentally healthy. I hope that you’ll join me, because we’ve got work to do!

2 thoughts on “First Steps to Getting Help for Mental Health Issues

  1. geminijess98 May 28, 2020 / 12:30 pm

    Showing people safe methods of getting help for their mental health cannot be shared enough – thank you!

    Like

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