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Looking after yourself

By making simple changes to our lives, we can make a real difference to our mental health. Feeling good is worth investing in – and the best thing is that these simple tips won’t cost you much time or money.

Asking for help

You might not like asking for help. You may feel that you don’t want to burden other people. You worry about what they might think or that they could tell others.

In fact, people who care about you will want to help you.

You just have to ask.

Who can you ask for help?

  • Your family – parents or carers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins
  • Trusted friends – your own friends, or friends of the family, neighbours
  • People you work with
  • Professionals – your GP, a doctor or nurse, a social worker
  • Charities such as ourselves, Off The Record

How to ask for help

Decide who is the best person to talk to. Who would you feel most comfortable talking to? Many of us prefer talking to family or friends, but you may prefer to talk to professionals, support groups, helplines or online discussion forums.

Pick your time and place. Choose a good time and somewhere you feel comfortable, so you can talk in a relaxed environment without interruption.

What outcome do you want? Do you simply want to be listened to? Would you like more practical or emotional support? Be clear what you want to achieve.

Make notes. Write down the things you want to say so you remember to include them in your conversation.

Explain how you feel and what support you would like. The other person will then know how to help you.

It may be difficult to talk about your feelings but “a problem shared is a problem halved”. You’ll probably feel better simply talking to someone. When you’re feeling down, it’s important that you are not struggling on your own.  Just ask for some help.