If you are the one that is struggling, it can be difficult knowing how to reach out and tell someone.
Plus, you may be worried about how they might react or judge you.
We know from both our own experiences and the young people we work with, that starting the conversation about mental health signs and symptoms can often feel like the hardest part. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you through that first step and find support in others.
To begin, think about why you need help so you can explain what you are thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing, and experiencing.
- Decide who you feel comfortable talking to. This could be a parent or caregiver, teacher, relative, coach, counselor, church leader, or other trusted adult.
- Write down how you feel. Sometimes it can be easier to put things down on paper and then share with someone. You can even practice the conversation.
- Ask them to set aside some time- you don’t want to feel rushed and you want to give them time to really listen.
- Find a place you feel comfortable, away from distractions. Home, school, library, coffee shop?
- The person you are talking to might have questions. Be honest and share as much as feel comfortable with.
Some things you can say:
- I haven’t been feeling ______ (good/right/myself, etc.) for a while and I’m not sure what to do.
- Can we find some time to talk? I’ve been getting really mad and upset about things lately and I don’t know why.
- I’m feeling really low and I think I may be depressed.
- I’m worried about how I’ve been feeling but I don’t know how to ask for help.
- I’ve been going through some really stressful things (share them if you feel comfortable) and I need to tell someone.
Thinking of suicide?
Sometimes people can have thoughts of suicide when they are struggling with a mental health concern, experiencing a stressful life event and don’t know how to cope with the emotions that go along with these.
It can be scary to have these thoughts and you might wonder if anyone will understand. Don’t keep these thoughts to yourself! You are not alone and people do want to help you feel better.
Some ways you can tell someone:
- I don’t feel like I want to live anymore and it is scaring me to think this way.
- I am afraid I might hurt myself and I know I should tell someone.
- I have been thinking about suicide. I think I may need some help.
Check out our Mindmatters app to assess your mental health, get support and join the conversation about mind wellness.