In 30 seconds
If you are struggling with your mental health, know that support is out there. In an emergency, or if you are in danger, call the emergency services. Alternatively, the Samaritans and the NHS have 24-hour helplines to talk with you, no matter how you are feeling. Your GP, a loved one, a therapist, or charities or student services can help too.
If You are Struggling with Your Mental Health
Most people will go through moments in life of poor mental health. But just because it’s normal and common, it doesn’t mean you have to manage it alone.
No matter what you are struggling with, mental health help is out there for you.
Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the people you can talk to if you are struggling with mental health problems or need some form of emotional support.
But first, let’s consider some of the signs that mental health support might be right for you right now:
Key Signs You Might Need Mental Health Support
It’s not always easy to keep in touch with how you’re feeling. Unfortunately, this is particularly true among men. Men tend to have lower rates of health literacy than women and have been found to struggle to recognise the symptoms of poor mental health.
You have made it this far. But if you are feeling any of the following symptoms, it’s okay to ask for help:
- Persistently low mood. Whether you are anxious, sad, irritable, fearful, or concerned, you shouldn’t accept feeling consistently low.
- Changes to your sleep. If you are often waking up during the night or struggling to fall asleep, it may signal an underlying mental health issue. Poor sleep may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety during the night.
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm. If you are thinking about hurting yourself – or have already hurt yourself – there’s support out there for you.
- You are overeating, drinking a lot, or using other coping mechanisms. When we are struggling with our mental wellbeing, we can engage in destructive behaviours to make ourselves feel better. But this can affect our physical health and make our mental health symptoms worse.
- Relationship issues. Mental health conditions can affect our relationships with others – including our family and friends. If you’re arguing more than usual, for example, it could be a sign that something is up.
However, you don’t need to have these specific symptoms to access mental health services. If you feel low, or just need to talk to someone, there is help available. It’s always okay to ask for help.
Who Can Help Me with My Mental Health?
There are many different types of mental health help available. Here are some of your options.
If you’re in a crisis and need urgent help, please call the emergency services on 999, or visit A&E if you feel able.
- Your GP. For most of us, our GPs are the people we visit when we need medical help. For people with mental health concerns, they can help you find the support service you need, by:
- Making a diagnosis
- Suggesting psychological therapies, such as talking therapy
- Prescribing medication
- Recommending local services such as support groups or counsellors.
- A mental health helpline. The NHS and the Samaritans both have 24-hour helplines. Here, you can talk to a trained mental health advisor about anything you feel is important. They won’t judge you and the service is completely free.
- A therapist. Your GP may recommend one, or else you can get in touch with a therapy service yourself. Trained therapists and counsellors can offer different types of talking therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, or guided self-help.
- A charity. Registered charities such as the Samaritans, Mind, and Rethink Mental Illness all offer crisis support, through mental health helplines and listening services. They will likely be able to link you up with local community services too, including
- Peer support groups, where you can talk about your concerns with similar people to you
- Community mental health teams, namely health professionals and carers that can help you in your home
- Social care services
- Student services. Young people may be able to find mental health support from their university, school, college, or other educational institution. Usually, support is available.
- Your friends, family, colleagues, or loved ones. Sometimes, just talking to anyone can be beneficial for your mental health. They will be able to help you get the support you need – while sharing your concerns can help you feel stronger.
When You Struggle to Ask for Help
It’s not always easy to ask for help. You might feel ashamed, embarrassed, or like it is not important. But you deserve support – and it can help make you feel so much better.
Unfortunately, it is men that struggle most to ask for help with their health. According to one study, 75% of men put off going to the doctor when showing signs of illness, with 38% saying that it is not important.
This doesn’t have to be you. Your health matters. You are not alone.
Strategies to Improve Your Mental Health
If you are struggling with your mental health, talking to someone will be the best way to feel better. But there are other strategies you can put in place to improve your mental wellbeing too.
- Exercise. It has been found to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, alongside improving feelings of low self-esteem and isolation. While it can be hard to get started, it can have very significant results.
- Sleep. Sleep and mental health are closely linked. If you can improve the way you sleep, you may be able to get some control over your mental wellbeing.
- Try to do something you enjoy. Making time for something that you love can do wonders for your mental health. But too many people neglect it, due to work or other commitments. Carving out some time for yourself can make a big difference.
For anyone struggling, there is mental health help out there. Your GP may be your first port of call, but therapists, local support groups, and mental health charities will all be there to lend a hand.
Even though it may be hard to seek help, you deserve the support. You are not alone.
How Do You Get Help If You Have a Mental Illness?
There is a lot of help out there if you have a mental illness. Talking to your GP is one of your best options, as they’ll be able to link you up with therapists and local services in your area. But mental health help can come in all forms. Talking to a friend or someone you trust is a great place to start.
How Can I Find a Counsellor or Therapist?
You can find a counsellor or therapist either through your GP, through a mental health charity, or directly through the therapist themselves. For example, you can find a therapist through the mental health charity, Mind.