Getting the Help You Need: Mental Health

On Tuesday I posted about my personal struggle with anxiety and I thought I would do a quick follow up post for if you are struggling with any mental health problems or someone you know is I thought I would give some advice. Unfortunately I am only aware of helplines and options in the UK but hopefully the options are similar where ever you are and if you know of the options available where you are please let me know below so we can share the knowledge and help people get whatever you need.

It is a shame that there is often still a stigma attached to mental disorders, so it can sometimes be hard to talk about these things with family and friends. If you can it is useful to share your troubles with those close to you but I know it can be hard to broach these subjects but know you can get help elsewhere.

I am by no means and expert in anything here, so let me know if some of the information is wrong but I have tried to thoroughly research everything for this post. I am speaking mainly from personal experience, we all have our own experiences with mental health but I want to try and help others if I can so hopefully this may be useful to some one.


Helplines

There are a number of helplines available to everyone often with Freephone numbers, and now in the UK these are free from both landlines and mobile phones, where you can speak to someone in complete confidence that knows how to help you. There are special helplines for all sorts of disorders, from OCD, panic attacks and emotional issues associated with abuse, which you can see the full list here.

One of  the best helplines though is the Samaritans, although unfortunately I don’t think it is a Freephone number at this point. The main benefit of the Samaritans is that it is a 24 hour a day phone line so you can get the help when you need it. To find out more about the Samaritans check out their website here, and if you need help call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.

A final option which is if you need care, is you can call NHS direct. This is great for a number of medical issues if it isn’t urgent in which case call 999. It is also really important if you have already been treated and are suffering from a relapse of symptoms. You can call NHS direct by simply calling 111, it couldn’t be simpler. They can also link you up with local services or suggest what action you may need to take.


Speak to your GP

Often one of the best things to do is speak to your GP about your issues and they can help you make the first step to getting better. With most problems you can choose between medicines or therapy/counselling, medicines are often the quick fix but therapy in my opinion is better for the long run. Okay I view therapy as best as if fixes the route of the problem but you need to be open to it and for some people medicine is the best option. Just take the time to see your GP and discuss your problems, making the most important first step in your road to recovery. It is a long road but the sooner you start the sooner you can start to make the changers to your life.


Take it One Step at a Time

Just remember to take everything one step at a time, and only do stuff when you are ready to. You are in charge of your own recovery, so take your time and take it one day at a time, it’s also okay to go back a step, it happens but it doesn’t matter as you need to do it to get better. Unfortunately there is no quick fix to a mental health issue but there is help out there, and it will get better.

It is important to listen to the advice from the mental health professional and voice your opinions. If you have an open and honest discussion, and take small steps every day you can be in control of your own recovery.


Do Small Things to Help Yourself

There are loads of little self-help things out there but that isn’t exactly what I am talking about here its doing the little things to make you feel better. Do the things that make you happy, take a relaxing bath or push yourself to do something you really want to do. Or discover what works to help you.

For example I when I used to panic I used to write a little reminder to myself to breathe on my wrist, although you can also get temporary tattoos. I also know people who use a beaded necklace to help them concentrate on their breathing. If you are really struggling just take a day at home where you just stay at home and do the things you enjoy, either on your own or with someone close to you, just do what you want and eat what you want and spend some time focusing on you. Sure it’s all just the small things, but these can make such a difference when you are trying to cope.


Useful links

I just thought I would finish this off with a few useful websites and links in addition to the ones I gave earlier.

  • The NHS’s mental health main page, with general advice articles as well as links to information on specific disorders including anxiety, bipolar disorder and the different types of treatments available on the NHS. So it is a good place to start, check it out here.
  • Mind is a great charity, on their website you can find advice, information on a lot of disorders ect. Mind is a great cause and they’ve been doing a lot of work on trying to eliminate the stigma associated to mental health issues. You can check out their amazing website here.
  • The Mental Health Foundation also offers more information and help for anyone who needs it which you can check out here.

I hope this is useful for some of you, I think sharing this information is important and could end up saving someone. Like I said before I’m not sure the protocol in other countries so if you do let me know in the comments below.

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