“We all need somebody to lean on…”
Sometimes, life gets a little too much for us to hack–and it’s times like these we need to get brave, reach out and ask for help or support.
For the most part, we’re reluctant to reach out for help. This is because it can be scary to put yourself out there in a vulnerable way and admit you’re hurting or struggling. You might think that asking for support makes you a burden or puts too much pressure on others. Or maybe you’ve internalised loud and unhelpful messages from society and formative relationships that have framed help-seeking as an act of weakness. It’s time to push past these obstacles and recognise that seeking help is actually an incredibly courageous act–it means that you know enough about yourself to know you’re not doing great, and shows that you understand that things don’t have to be like this forever.
SIGNS YOU MIGHT NOT BE DOING GREAT
- Not feeling like yourself. You’re constantly agitated, erratic, overwhelmed, aggressive, downhearted or withdrawn.
- You’re drinking, smoking or using drugs much more frequently.
- You’re self-isolating–not attending social events and frequently cancelling plans.
- You’ve stopped doing fun or healthy stuff–like hobbies or exercise.
- You’ve suffered a life blow, e.g. lost a friend/family member, broken up with a partner, lost a job, lost a bunch of money.
- You’re eating and/or sleeping waaaay too often, or barely enough.
- You’re posting dark, erratic or alarming content onto social media.
- Certain behaviours have taken on an obsessive, all-encompassing vibe, like watching porn, having sex, exercising, working, etc.
- You’re engaging in risky behaviours, like drink driving or speeding, driving drunk/high, gambling, taking heavier drugs, having heaps of unprotected sex, getting into fights.
- Your close friends or family have expressed concern for your wellbeing.
- You’ve thought about or planned out suicide or self harm.
If you find yourself relating to any of the above points, it might be time to reach out.
HOW TO REACH OUT FOR HELP
The first step is to get it out in the open and share honestly and vulnerably. This can feel challenging and uncomfortable at first, but don’t let those feelings dissuade you from doing it.
Speak to someone who is a good listener, who might have gone through similar challenges, or who has always had your back.
That sucks, when it feels that way. Often, you’d be surprised at how decent most people can be when it comes to hearing out a friend in need.
But if you feel like there is no one in your life that you can reach out to, then fortunately there is a number of free support services that offer immediate support where you can call and chat with someone right away
SUPPORT ACT WELLBEING HELPLINE: 1800 959 500
LIFELINE: 13 11 14
Beyond blue: 1300 22 4636
Suicide call back service:1300 659 467
Mensline Aus: 1300 78 99 78
If you’re concerned for your immediate safety or the safety of others, call 000
- Your GP is your next port of call, when it comes to getting the help you need. Although they might not always be the best folks to talk to about mental health stuff, they can give you a quick assessment and provide you with a Mental Health Care Plan
- Mental Health Care Plan a valuable resource that gives you access to the Medicare rebate, where you score a minimum of $80 off up to ten sessions per year with a registered psychologist.
- If you find a bulk-billed psych, there will be no out-of-pocket fees either
“But what if still can’t afford to see a mental health professional, even with the Medicare rebate?”
Fortunately, there area bunch of free mental health services available to support you, where you can receive counselling, therapeutic support and a space to be heard.
FREE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES WE RECOMMEND
24hrs a day, everyday.
Support for anyone working in Australian music or the arts who needs to talk to someone about any aspect of their wellbeing.
9am-5pm, Mon-Sun AEST
Supporting adults affected by complex trauma and childhood trauma and those who support them.
8am-midnight, every day
Support for eating disorders and body image issues over the phone, web chat or email
midday-3am, every day
Telephone and online counselling service for people experiencing loss or grief.
Support and information for young people 12-25 for mental health and what’s going on in their life
9am-7:30pm weekdays AEST
Support for women, men and families affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood.
3pm-midnight, every day
Phone and online anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
Relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.
Free 24/7 chat and email counselling and support services for anyone affected by gambling.
OK, WHAT NOW?
If you’re feeling like you or someone you know might be in need of some help:
- Bring it up. Talk about it. Reach out to family and friends, or find yourself a support group where people might be facing similar struggles.
- Check out the above resources for numbers you can call for immediate or longer-term support.
- Find a mental health practitioner that’s right for you (ask around, get on Google, or ask your GP for recommendations)
Remember: If you, or someone you care about, is in crisis or at immediate risk dial 000 now.
EXPERT / AMBASSADOR ADVICE
Julia speaks about her mental health struggles and how SA helped.
Julia speaks about her mental health struggles and how SA helped.
TOP 3 PODCASTS
The Art of Asking for (and Getting) Help | 26 MIN
Wayne Baker, professor at the University of Michigan discusses the best way to effectively ask for help at work. The episode outlines strategies to ensure the best possible outcome including defining your goal, who specifically to ask, and message crafting.
Listen to HBR IdeaCast here
Masculinity – It’s actually such a sign of strength to speak up and get help | 80 MIN
Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health
Host Bobby Temps is joined by Piers Harrison-Reid to talk about masculinity as a factor in mental health and getting support.
Listen to Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health here
Seeking help for the first time in a crisis | 30 MIN
All in the Mind – ABC
If you’ve noticed a change in your mental well-being over the past few weeks you’re not alone.
As the effects of the pandemic and the conditions of isolation begin to take hold, many Australians are searching for support for the first time in their lives. So if you choose to ask for help, how do you take the first steps.
Listen to All in the Mind here