I’m continuing to develop my ten top tips for improved mental health.
During February I explored why it is good to talk to someone about mental health. During March I’m going to suggest that it is important to ask for help.
There is no doubt that it is good to talk to people we trust about our feelings. But none of us are superhuman.
At times we can all feel tired or overwhelmed by life especially when things happen we are not expecting or when plans don’t go to plan.
I want to encourage you to ask for help. There is nothing wrong or weak in asking for help. In fact, it takes a great deal of courage. There is plenty of help out there and a lot of it free.
I must add I have been very fortunate to have received plenty of help during my periods of mental illness, especially when I’ve been suffering with depression. I am blessed to have a great family, wonderful friends, and a strong faith.
I have no hesitation at all in saying, ‘We all need help at difficult times in our lives’. Sometimes it is knowing where to go for help especially if things are getting too much for us and we feel we can’t cope. Ask for help.
For those of us who have a good family and friends we can trust, that is the first place to go. They may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear.
I am aware however that this is not always the case and some people don’t have family nearby or there has been some form of disconnection within their family. For some people friends that can be trusted are not around either.
If this is you, then your local GP will be able to help you.
A doctor once told me an interesting thing ‘in his experience over a third of visits to his surgery were for mental health problems’. You are not on your own.
Your GP may refer you to a specialist, another part of the health service or signpost you to a charity of some form or a community project. There is lots of help available.
Here are a few suggestions of charities that will be able to help.
The web site – www.self-help.org.uk has information about groups all across the UK.
The charity Mind has branches across the UK and a very accessible web site. www.mind.org.uk
Your local CVS (Community Voluntary Services) will also be able to point you in the right direction for the help you may need.
If your charity or community group needs help with setting up a service around mental health issues, then I can help you with that. Imagine Projects was set up because I had gathered together many years of experience in helping churches and charities engage with their communities. I wanted to put all that experience in one place for people to draw from.
Many people over the years have turned to these projects for help and support. This month’s blog posts will tell the stories of some of them and the people who have been helped through them.