How to Ask For Help with Mental Health Issues

Written by: Tanvi Vinay Gangavali – MA (Psychology)
Last updated date : August 26, 2022

How to ask for help with mental health issues? This is the most natural question for people who are struggling. They do not when to ask for help when struggling. Mental health is the most important part of every human being. Mental health issues are unseen. You can only see certain signs and symptoms. The range and severity may vary from person to person. Hence, it is more difficult to judge whether what you are feeling is something because of a situation and will pass on its own or need help from experts.

You need to ask for help when struggling. You might think your issue is not serious. But, it is okay if you need support. Your feelings and emotions are valid. But, if you see changes in your mood or behavior then you need to be mindful that you need help. And it is better to ask for help with mental health issues than struggle on your own.

How to ask for help with mental health issues? This is the most natural question for people who are struggling. They do not when to ask for help when struggling. Mental health is the most important part of every human being. Mental health issues are unseen. You can only see certain signs and symptoms. The range and severity may vary from person to person. Hence, it is more difficult to judge whether what you are feeling is something because of a situation and will pass on its own or need help from experts.

You need to ask for help when struggling. You might think your issue is not serious. But, it is okay if you need support. Your feelings and emotions are valid. But, if you see changes in your mood or behavior then you need to be mindful that you need help. And it is better to ask for help with mental health issues than struggle on your own.

Chapter 1:
When to ask for help with Mental Health?

If it is a serious issue. This is identified by the impact it has on a person’s life. Mild issues can cause lesser distress as compared to serious mental health issues. For example, we all feel a little nervous during an exam. It is natural to feel anxious. But if this anxiety spreads to other areas such as you miss school so that you do not have to take an exam then it becomes a cause of concern. It impacts your everyday life and well-being. Some people can also have physical symptoms such as stomach pain which needs support. Please note that it is normal to feel sad or angry or even anxious. But, if it is negatively impacting your everyday life then it needs attention. You can ask for help from a counselor.

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Chapter 2:
What are the Signs of a Serious Mental Health Issue?

We get many signs if we have a mental health issue and that we need to ask for help with our mental health issue. This also pushes us to ask for help. Some signs that you might notice are:

  1. Feeling sad or low for no specific reason or even for a longer period of time.
  2. Your mood changes from very high to extremely low.
  3. Lots of worry about an event or incident.
  4. Feeling the loss of interest in everyday activities.
  5. Frequent outbursts of anger or violence.
  6. Having issues understanding others’ feelings and or thoughts.
  7. Feeling like life is worthless.
  8. Self-harming behaviors.
  9. Not enjoying social interaction with friends or family.
  10. Delusions or hallucinations.
  11. Sudden sweating or feeling nauseous
  12. Rapid heart rate
  13. Difficulty in breathing
  14. Changes in sleeping pattern
  15. Changes in eating pattern.
  16. A noticeable change in sexual drive or activity.

If you notice that either you or someone you love shows one or more of the above-mentioned signs for two weeks or more then help is needed. You can reach out to a counselor to ask for help with mental health issues.

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Chapter 3:
How to ask for Help with a Mental Health Issue?

You might start noticing visible changes either in your or your loved one’s behavior. If it is persistent and seen for a longer period of time then you need help. You need to reach out for help as soon as possible. The more you delay asking for help with mental health, the more the issue worsens. It becomes more serious. It also starts impacting many aspects of your life. This can also lead to serious health issues. Here are some ways to ask for help with mental health:-

  1. The first step can be talking to someone you trust. It can be an adult who you think understands you the best. It can be either your parent, teacher, counselor, friend, or doctor. we need to talk it out so that they can help us. Coming out open about your issues might be hard but it is important. If you are in school then you need to talk to your adult and not a friend because an adult can help you out better. Your friend might listen to you but might not know how to help you. You can talk to your friends about what you are going through and ask for help. Only a counselor can support you in ways that can help you the best. They create a safe space for you and also teach you coping strategies.
  2. You can reach out to a mental health expert. This can be a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They have expertise in dealing with mental health issues. Also, they can respond the best when you ask for help.
  3. There are many anonymous helpline numbers that can give you primary relief or can even connect you to better mental health resources to seek more support.
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Chapter 4:
How to Ask for Help?

Sometimes you want to ask for help with mental health issues but you do not know how to ask. Using the right words is not important. What is more important is your courage to ask for help. You need to ask for help when struggling and not wait for the issue to become more serious. The early to ask for help the easier it is. But sometimes because of many factors, there is a delay to ask for help even when struggling hard. It is okay. It is never too late. You can ask for help at any point in time. The main point is to ask for help when struggling. Here are some tips on how to ask for help with mental health:

  1. Make a start. Look for an adult you trust and tell them you wish to share your thoughts. Talk to them about what you have noticed and how it makes you feel. You can even tell them what helps you feel better. If you need help in finding a counselor then you can even tell them you need their help for that. Sometimes people do not know how to respond to you when you share how you feel. Hence, giving them ways in which they can help makes it easier for them. Also, this way it helps you also to get the help that you need.
  2. If you have thoughts of ending your life or harming yourself then share them with your trusted adult. Do not keep it a secret. You might want to keep it a secret because you feel shameful or fearful but it is important to share. This is for your own safety. Also, because of mental health issues we sometimes tend to think of extremes. Hence, we need to share these thoughts.
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Chapter 5:
The most important tip

Taking care of yourself is of utmost importance. No matter what happens do certain things which make you feel happy. Talk to your counselor and find out ways to cope with your mental health issues. Although it might be hard to it is possible. Asking for help with mental health issues needs courage. So, take the first step today if you feel you are struggling to ask for help. To help you more, we have designed certain online courses on Coming Out which can help you know more about mental health. These are available on our Epsychonline website.