How to reach out if you think you need help

“Why didn’t they tell me?” is such a common refrain when we talk about suicide or mental health challenges in general. It’s easy to make this remark, because “tell someone” seems like a simple request. But in truth, it’s vague at best.

“Reaching out” is a skill we’re somehow expected to know, yet it’s never taught and rarely modelled for us.

So let’s be more specific:

  • 1. “I’m (depressed/anxious/suicidal). I’m not sure what to ask for, but I don’t want to be alone right now.”

  • 2. “I’m struggling with my mental health and what I’ve been trying isn’t working. Can we (meet up/Skype/etc) on (date) and come up with a better plan?”

  • 3. “I don’t feel safe by myself right now. Can you stay on the phone with me/come over until I calm down?”

  • 4. “I’m in a bad place, but I’m not ready to talk about it. Can you help me distract myself?”

  • 5. “Can you check in with me (on date/every day), just to make sure I’m alright?”

  • 6. “I’m having a hard time taking care of myself. I need extra support right now around (task). Can you help?”

  • 7. “I’ve been feeling so low. Can you remind me about what I mean to you or share a favorite memory? It would really help me.”

  • 8. “I’m struggling right now and I’m afraid I’m reaching my limit. Can I give you a call tonight?”

  • 9. “I know we don’t talk much, but I’m going through a tough time and I feel like you’re someone I can trust. Are you free to talk (day/time)?”

  • 10. “I’m suicidal. I need help right now.”

If you feel suicidal – Raise the Alarm

Raise the damn alarm, friends, and be as direct as you need to be. An emergency is an emergency, whether it’s a heart attack or a self-harm risk. Harm to you in any form is reason enough to ask for help.

I promise you, there’s someone in this world — an old friend or a future one, a family member, a therapist, even a volunteer on a hotline — who wants you to stay.

Find that person (or people), even if it takes time. Even if you have to keep asking.

Our partner, Kaleidoscope Plus Group offers some advice on what to do if you feel suicidal and some emergency hotlines on this page of their website.

You can also access Shout 85258, which is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging service for anyone in the UK. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope. To start a conversation, text the word ‘TeamKPG’ to 85258, then you’ll receive 4 automated messages before you’re connected to someone who will listen without judgement.

Give people the chance to help you. It’s a chance that YOU deserve.

For the full article, please click here.