When you find yourself juggling multiple mental health concerns (including stress, work, relationships, feelings of loneliness, mental and physical health concerns, and maybe even an emergency) and thinking, "I need to ask for help," it is natural to want and need to talk to someone about your thoughts and mental health. Sometimes, amidst all these stressors, we just need to talk or need to vent and have support from our friends and families because it can make a significant difference in our capacity to manage all these stressors. Understandably, you would want to vent to a friend or loved one about what you're experiencing.
However, they may not always be available or know how to help you. Here are some other tools and resources to contact when you are experiencing challenges or struggling with emotional distress.
Getting Help For Life's Challenges
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people in the United States who are receiving mental health treatment is growing, with more people looking to seek help for symptoms of mental health disorders (such as anxiety and depressive disorders). If you have been experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder or simply are looking for professional assistance in managing life’s stressors, there is no shame in talking to a therapist.
Talk therapy can benefit people dealing with stressful situations and mental health concerns and provides them with support, empathy, and strategies to cope. Seeking mental health treatment is an excellent way to manage symptoms, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and take control of your life once more.
Know When To Get Help For Your Mental Health
There is only so much that friends and family can do to help when you need mental health support, and your best friend may not have the resources to help you. Furthermore, many people simply do not have healthy support systems in place to assist them through difficult and challenging times. There are times when a licensed counselor can step in and help you develop coping skills and provide you with different options to manage your life challenges.
For example, you may experience panic attacks regularly and you have talked to your loved ones about your anxiety. Though they empathize, they do not know how to help you with the condition. A trained counselor can help you learn grounding techniques and many others to use when you are experiencing a panic attack.
First and foremost, anyone can seek therapy, no matter the situation. You do not need to have severe symptoms of mental health distress to reach out for professional support. Talking to a therapist before stress or other life events overwhelm your capacity to function helps you to identify warning signs of a developing mental health disorder. You also can learn strategies that help you learn coping tools as well as strategies to build resilience for present and future stressful life events.
If you are interested in online therapy, many counselors at BetterHelp understand how to help people manage symptoms of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. If you have a life challenge and are unable to solve it on your own, privileged counseling can help. Your therapist wants to support you and help improve your mental health.
Utilize Support Groups
Even after speaking with a trained counselor, it is a good idea to develop a support network that understands what you are going through. Though your current friends may be a good option for you, keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable or knows how to talk about mental health with others.
Support groups give you the opportunity to meet with peers who understand your situation or mental health conditions. They can offer support and guidance when you are experiencing emotional stress or fear and may even have some strategies that can help you feel calm again. Furthermore, they are also a great source of social interaction if you simply feel lonely and want to connect with more people
Support groups are usually led by a licensed therapist or counselor. However, some are led by a pastor, minister, or a trained moderator who manages a mental health disorder. Support groups are specifically geared towards those who have a similar diagnosis or condition, this helps build a circle of trust that allows participants to be open and talk without judgment.
Who To Contact During A Mental Health Emergency
However, if you believe that you are experiencing a mental health emergency, do not wait for your next therapy session to talk about it. There may be moments when you need someone immediately to help you with your mental health needs.
For example, if you are experiencing depression or similar mental health conditions, you may at some point experience suicidal thoughts. When this happens, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support. This service is completely free and available 24/7. When you call, trained listeners will provide you with a safe space to discuss your thoughts and situation. They will listen to you with empathy and compassion and may also be able to point you to local resources, such as low-income mental health services. If you do not want to call, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has an online chat, so you can discuss your situation with trained professionals more discreetly. The crisis lifeline and crisis text line are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
There are other crisis lines that help people with other specific mental health conditions and emergencies. Below are some other crisis lines that are available to you.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Eating Disorder Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-Th: 9 AM-9 PM EST, Fri 9 AM - 5 PM EST)
- SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 (for concerns about substance abuse)
- Veterans Crisis Line Call 1-800-273-8255 (and press 1) or text 838255. For support for the deaf and hard of hearing community, please use your preferred relay service, or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.
- Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Lifeline) at (866)488-7386
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
When you contact these crisis lines, you will discuss your problem with a trained counselor or other professional to help you with your crisis. Some hotlines also allow you to text them or use an online chat if you want an even less direct connection. Furthermore, some of these sites offer an online forum so you can chat with others who know what you are going through.
If you are not someone experiencing these crises but know someone who is, you can still contact these hotlines for support and guidance.
Getting Professional Mental Help Support
The National Institute of Mental Health has recently reported that 53 million, or 1 in 5 people, in the United States are living with a mental health disorder. The demand for qualified licensed mental health therapists is greater than ever. You may be having trouble finding an in-person therapist due to personal obstacles, a busy schedule, or simply cannot find an opening in your local community.
If you are having a hard time scheduling an appointment, consider making an appointment with an online therapist. With online therapy, you can schedule sessions with your therapist at the time most convenient for you. You and your online therapist can communicate anytime, day or night via phone, message, or video chat. Research has shown that online therapy is equally as effective in helping treat mental health as in-person therapy. For example, a study published in the peer-reviewed research Journal of Clinical Psychology revealed that in over 100 different online counseling trials overall attitudes between both counselors and participants were as positive as with in-person counseling.
No appointment is ever necessary to chat with BetterHelp’s therapists. While an appointment is not required, online clients can schedule sessions in advance. On average, our online therapists check their messages twice a day and will answer you within 12 hours which may be a big improvement from waiting weeks for in-office therapy. The therapists at BetterHelp are trained to help you improve your mental health being that they are licensed therapists who can help you better cope with life and stress with specific solutions for the challenges you face.
Take a look at the following reviews to get an idea of how BetterHelp supports their clients:
Rebecca Navarre, MSW, LMSW
"Rebecca has helped me sort out things and reflect on things in a way I have never experienced with a face-to-face counselor. I can be way more open through messaging than face to face, so this works perfectly for me. She addresses and helps with many different aspects at once. She sees the overall picture and helps me to do the same. The way I look at things has changed, and my quality of life and the quality of my children's lives have improved very quickly in a short time."
If you are considering meeting with a therapist to help you, do not hesitate to make an appointment with an in-person or online therapist. With mental health therapy, you will not only have support and help that you need, but you can also learn strategies to improve the way you manage the challenges that life gives you.
If you are experiencing mental health concerns, anxiety, depression, or relationship problems, know these are all concerns that the counselors at BetterHelp understand and can help you effectively address. They want to help support you through these obstacles. You can talk to them about whatever challenges you are experiencing and get the focused guidance and empathy that you deserve.
Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is it called when you need someone to talk to?
When you need someone to take to, it might be called “needing an ear” or “needing support.” We all need emotional support, and it is important to have a support system, it is not a weakness to admit that "I need help". What a support system looks like can vary from person to person and could include a range of different individuals, including but not limited to a therapist or counselor, peers in a support group, families, or friends.
Where can I talk to strangers about my problems?
Here are some ways to find unknown support:
- A crisis line or peer support hotline. Contacting a crisis line or helpline, such as the national suicide prevention lifeline, is an unknow and free way to find someone to talk to when experiencing emotional distress.
- An online forum. An online forum might or might not be unknown and will typically be free of cost to use.
- An online chat room. Like online forums, chatrooms are sometimes geared toward those who want to discuss specific topics and would like to give or receive emotional support.
A crisis line cannot replace ongoing mental health services, and crisis lines are generally run by volunteers rather than mental health professionals. Hotlines play their own role in offering support and other resources for those who need it.
Resources such as the national suicide prevention lifeline are intended for immediate support. If you are hard of hearing, you can use your preferred relay service to contact a hotline or dial “711” first.
Where do I find someone to talk to?
Joining a support group is a great way to find ongoing support from peers. Support groups are often free and can meet online or in person. There are support groups that focus on many different topics, including but not limited to anxiety, divorce, depression, physical illness, and substance abuse or substance use disorders. Mental health therapy can also help with these concerns, and it is a great option if you need emotional support, need someone to talk to, are experiencing emotional distress, or need help with something that’s affecting your life, such as relationship issues or a mental health condition such as depression. A therapist can be an excellent addition to your support system.
If you or someone you know faces concerns related to substance abuse or might be, you can reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). For TTY Users: Utilize your preferred relay service or dial “711” followed by 1-800-487-4889.
You can also head to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website for information about substance abuse and substance use disorders, treatment, and other resources for individuals, families, and loved ones.
Where can I talk to someone about my problems online for free?
Helpful resources for those who need someone to talk to or want to find support online might include online support groups, which can be free, online forums, and chatrooms designed for individuals to provide support and offer support. Support groups can be a fantastic way to feel less alone while connecting with peers, and the individuals in the group you attend can become a part of your support system. Hotlines (such as the national suicide prevention lifeline)* are free and available 24/7.
*You can contact the national suicide prevention lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255. For TTY Users: Utilize your preferred relay service or dial “711” followed by 1-800-273-8255.
The national suicide prevention lifeline website also has a number of different resources. Resources that can be found on the national suicide prevention lifeline include but aren’t limited to ways to help someone else in distress, ways to support or help oneself, stories of hope, and more.
Are there any online resources where I can talk to someone about my problems?
How can I find a therapist or counselor to talk to?
Is it okay to reach out to a crisis hotline if I just need someone to talk to?
How can I talk to my friends or family about my problems?
Is it possible to find support groups for people who need someone to talk to?
Can I talk to my doctor about my problems?
What should I do if I'm feeling suicidal and need someone to talk to?
How can I find a religious leader or spiritual guide to talk to?
What should I do if I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone I know about my problems?
Is it okay to talk to a stranger about my problems?
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