7 Ways to Ask for Help When You're Feeling DownNone By Rachel Wells
Sometimes needing help can put you in a vulnerable place, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Globally, depression affects up to 300 million people, and 1 in 13 people suffer from anxiety, according to the World Health Organization. Although the disorders are treatable, less than half actually receive treatment. Despite efforts to erase negative stigmas around mental health, the faulty assumption sticks and can be a main barrier to those seeking support. To make getting the support you deserve easier, here are seven ways to ask for help when you’re feeling down.
Determine What You Need from Friends and Family
Before reaching out, consider what you need most: a conversation, a hug, both? The more specific you can be, the better your loved ones can support you. Here are a few examples.
1. “Hey, I haven’t been feeling great lately, and think I need help from a friend. Could we plan a weekly face-to-face meetup or phone call? I think it would have a positive impact on me.”
Recent studies have shown loneliness can create stress in the body and have a negative impact on health, so human connection is crucial for your well-being. The meetups don’t need to be fancy, just something that allows for repetition and quality time, such as an after-work tea.
2. “Hey there. I haven’t been feeling great lately, so could I ask you a favor? Could you text me each morning to check in on how I’m doing? I think it’ll help me quite a bit.”
If you don’t live near your family or friends, this is a great way to get someone engaged. You don’t need to go into details about how you’re feeling and why you’re asking for the favor. All you have to do is reach out and begin to bring someone else on board to help in your healing.
3. “Hi, I may have mentioned this, but I haven’t been feeling great lately and need your help. Do you have a few minutes to talk right now?”
If the person you’re trying to reach can’t speak when you need them, move down your mental list of loved ones and keep going until someone is available. If you aren’t able to reach someone and are still feeling down, call a 24/7 mental health hotline or visit a health clinic near you.
Call a 24/7 Hotline
Hotlines are a great way to access a trained professional who can talk through your emotional state with you. The hotlines listed below are free, confidential, and available all day, every day.
4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255 (U.S. only)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of 161 crisis centers taking calls from across the country from individuals who are facing suicidal ideation or emotional distress. If you are upset and contemplating suicide, an expert will speak with you and listen to your feelings.
5. International Association for Suicide Prevention
The International Association for Suicide Prevention is a nonprofit run by professionals and volunteers from more than 50 different countries. The organization’s website offers international resources, including crisis center locations, websites, and phone numbers based on region.
6. SAMHSA Hotline - 1-800-662-4357 (U.S. only)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a department within the U.S. government, runs this hotline. Free and confidential, the hotline is a treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Use Community Resources
If you’re looking for support outside of your inner circle and a hotline doesn’t feel quite right, there are many local organizations that can help, such as community and religious centers.
7. Find a Local Support Group
If you live in the United States, you can search for a local support group in your area through the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. You just enter a support topic and your state. From there, the website will populate a list of groups in your region. Try multiple support topics for more groups. For a list of international anxiety and depression support groups and hotlines, visit Cocoonais.
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