I’m the queen of analogies, being a very visual person, it’s always been a way that my brain makes sense of a situation. When it comes to asking for help here’s the analogy.
Let’s say you broke your leg; you wouldn’t hobble around for weeks, climb up and down the stairs, drive to the supermarket, go about your daily business, because your leg would be broken. Instead you’d call an ambulance, your partner, your mum and ask for help.
The problem with mental health is it isn’t as visually obvious as physical health, and because of this, the seriousness of the problem somehow feels less important. We are much less likely to ask for help when we’re feeling mentally low, but there’s really no difference. Dragging your broken leg around as if nothing’s happened, won’t help it to heal.
I work in a rehab centre for people with addiction and there’s a big sign on the door saying, ‘ASK FOR HELP’. We think we can work it out for ourselves, we think we know what’s best; we think it’s a weakness to say ‘I can’t cope’ when actually, it’s a strength.
The stigma around mental health is slowly changing, there are support groups and networks and charities and so much information online. In this current climate it is important that we voice our concerns, that we speak our truth and source help from our friends, family, community and professionals.
I am not a councillor or psychotherapist but I have suffered with anxiety, OCD and panic attacks in the past. I know how it feels to be mentally unwell, and I really couldn’t have got out of that place without asking for help.
NHS Website – a good place to start
Mind – loads of resources and ideas – Including the following which i’ve copied from their website.
Some community and charity sector organisations may offer free or low-cost talking therapies. For example:
- Your local Mind, local Rethink Mental Illness, or local Turning Point branch may be able to offer you talking therapies. Sometimes these local organisations may also form part of a local IAPT service with the NHS.
- Mental Health Matters (MHM) offers a telephone counselling service and talking therapies in some areas.
- Anxiety UK offers talking therapies for anxiety. There is a fee but they do offer reduced costs for people on a low income.
- Cruse Bereavement Care may offer free counselling services if you have experienced the death of someone close to you.
Fern Cottons Happy Place podcast– interviews with people who have suffered from poor mental health and their journey to feeling better.