What gets in the way of asking for help?

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Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our country and recent celebrity suicides are a call to action. Working together, we can take steps now to help prevent suicide.

Do you have the following thoughts that get in the way of asking for & getting help:

  1. “I should be able to handle this myself” “I don’t want to tell anyone about this” “This will go away on its own”  ®Afraid to ask for get help. Don’t want to bother, worry or burden my parents.
  2. “I don’t want anyone to treat me differently” ®Fear of rejection or embarrassment from peers and/or family.
  3. “I don’t deserve help, I don’t matter” ®Depression can affect self-esteem.
  4. “I’m not crazy” “I don’t want to be locked up” “I don’t want to take medications” ®Distrust of medical/mental health professionals.

1, 2 & 3  would be helped if we had more early education at home and at school about basic mental health & psychology. How to listen to yourself, how to listen to others.

We all need to recognized the triggers that mess with our relationships and school life and work life: the things that get in the way of being able to cope with angry feelings and sad feelings, hopelessness, helplessness, frustration. We can easily be at the mercy of our reactions to people and events if we don’t recognize how we are feeling and pay attention to how our feelings affect our actions. A major life lesson is “It’s not all about me” and that is hard for kids to learn. When someone says a cruel or angry thing we may take it personally when there are alternate explanations for someone’s behavior toward us that has nothing to do with us.

And at the same time, we have to be aware enough of our own feelings and worries and fears, that we don’t take things out on other people.

We all need to learn how to cope in healthy ways. How do we cope with frustrations and disappointments and anxiety? What do we do for a panic attack?

How can we relate to and get along with and be kind to  the “difficult people” in our lives or those we can encounter ever day?

#4 would be helped if

  • if we had a system of easily available  mental health treatment
  • if we a basic knowledge mental health problems so we could recognize when we needed help and when others are struggling
  • if we knew the wide variety of resources that are available on a continuum of care
  • if mental health wasn’t stigmatized

Talk to your peers and see what they think and let someone who can help know. The Not Alone documentary producer said: “kids see their friends drinking, cutting, hooking up, doing drugs and other risky behaviors and think  ‘well I wouldn’t do it but It’s typical teen behavior’ and they don’t recognize the danger signs of their own friends in trouble with depression and anxiety.”

If someone is in crisis, please direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or to text "Talk" to 741741.

Together, we can save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.