The Importance of Reaching Out

By: Theresa Groenewaldt (Student Intern Clinical Psychologist)

Not everything that weighs you down is yours to carry alone.

Common thoughts:

“I don’t think my problems are important or big enough to talk to anyone about…”

“I’m worried I might be labelled or that people might judge me…”

We all go through mental health challenges and the best way to deal with it is to reach out to someone and talk about it. Although it can be awkward to reach out to someone at first, once it is done we will find that it was the best decision and most likely to feel relieved once it is done.

How to reach out:

To start a conversation can be difficult at times especially when we reach out for help; here are a few ice breakers for starting a conversation and reaching out:

“I don’t know if you can help me, but I’m hoping you can help me to find someone who can.”

“I have a tough situation; it’s really bugging me… Can I talk to you about it?”

“I can’t seem to get past the feelings I’m having. I wanted to reach out before things got worse.”

Sometimes reaching out to someone in person can be anxious and overwhelming. However, there is always an option for reaching out to someone telephonically first, which will also aid in helping you take the first step to reaching out.

What will happen after reaching out?

After sharing with an entrusted person with what you are going through:

It may take time to feel better afterwards. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better, but it’s important to work through to past pain to be able to move forward on your journey of healing (this time without the past baggage coming with you). It is important to remember that it is a process and healing takes time.

The person you reach out to may not be able to “fix” the problem, but they may be able to connect you with someone who can support you better.

They may need to set up an appointment for you to see someone else that can help you.

If you find that your problems seem to be unresolved after seeking help, don’t give up. Keep trying. You’ll find someone who can support you and let you know that you are not alone.