First off, if you or someone else is in danger, don’t mess around. Call 111.
If you’ve been feeling really bad for a while and you can’t shake it off, if it’s causing problems for you at school, work or at home, or you’ve been feeling unsafe or suicidal, then talk to someone who can help ASAP.
Sometimes it’s tough to ask for help and it can be tricky knowing know what to say. You might not feel like it but even just talking about how you feel can lighten the load. It’s one of the best things you can do. You’d be amazed how supportive people can be. Friends and family are great for practical support like going with you to an appointment and things you don’t want to face alone. And if you feel like it’s too hard to talk to a doctor about your problems, ask someone to go with you. It makes a big difference.
But friends and family won’t always know what to do for you. So if you’re feeling really terrible, don’t put off going to see a health professional. A doctor can tell you what to do to get better, your mates can help you through it. When you’re got both the health professionals and friends and family working together, you’re on the right track to being well again.
What if the people I ask don’t help?
Don’t give up. It can take a while to find someone who works for you. It may be that they’re not on your wavelength. They’re too busy to really listen to what you’re saying. Or, they’re having difficulty understanding your problem, or are unsure how to go about helping you. Often people have the best of intentions, but their own anxiety about how to help can make them say and do some really unhelpful things.
You need to find someone you really feel comfortable talking to. And you’ll be sharing some pretty personal details with them so you need to be able to trust them. There are lots of people out there willing to help, and if you don’t get it right the first time, go and try someone else.