What to do After You Have Reached Out to Someone About Your Mental Health
Now that you have made the decision to reach out, what are the next steps?
There are many outcomes that can emerge from a conversation, so be prepared to not get the reaction that you may have been looking for. Due to cultural expectations, it can be difficult to explain the mental health journey you are working through. Feeling uneasy and scared, due to the possible reactions from others, are normal emotions to go through when in person confrontation is involved. Writing down your emotions can assist in creating an outline for a conversation that you may have in the future as well as mitigate stress that can arise from confrontation.
Although only suggestions are outlined in each answer for the questions below, it is important to be honest with where you are in order to focus attention towards finding a possible solution that will help you. There can be more than one answer to each question, however using this as a guide can encourage you to further explore your feelings.
How long have you not been feeling like yourself?
a) A couple of days
b) Upwards of weeks
c) Three-six months
d) For the past year or longer
Which physical attributes have impacted you negatively?
a) Changes in appetite and weight
b) Alcohol and/or drug abuse
c) Actions involving self-harm and/or suicide
d) Inability to maintain positive relationships (i.e family or friends)
e) Seclusion from everyday interactions and tasks
Which emotional attributes have impacted you negatively?
a) Change in mood and increased agitation
b) Feeling lonely and helpless in your situation
c) Stress from internal and external environment
d) Uncertainty and anxiety
If you wish to share your feelings with another individual, why are you taking this step?
a) I am worried about myself, and want to seek help.
b) The impact on my social environment is becoming toxic.
c) I don’t want to feel this way anymore.
d) I don’t know what to do next.
What alternative steps can help you gain more success in this journey?
a) Share your feelings with someone you trust
b) Talk to a therapist, counsellor or doctor
c) Find a support group who can empathize with you
d) Create a self-help plan to get me on the right track
If you don’t wish to share your feelings, what is hindering you?
a) Lack of trust in others
b) Guilt from projecting feelings onto people around me
c) There is no one available to talk to
d) I don’t feel comfortable sharing my feelings
e) I’m afraid of what will happen if I do
When the opportunity for an in-person approach arises, making sure that you are in a comfortable and safe space is essential when it comes to sharing your experience. Alleviating stress that comes from environmental variables will allow you to more easily share things when you’re ready. Opening up about personal issues you go through to those at home can seem daunting, however prioritizing your own being is crucial when seeking a path towards healing. Often, there is no right time to start a conversation, however allocating space to talk with others can help you mentally prepare. Writing down thoughts you would like to share beforehand will also assist in keeping the conversation on track.