I'm Struggling, I Need To Talk To A Professional

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated June 19, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

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.

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Getting help for life's challenges with mental health services

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 from mental health professionals 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 and adding them to your support system. 

A therapist is a dedicated mental health professional who is trained and licensed to guide people in learning to healthily cope with mental health concerns and life issues. Through talk therapy and other treatment strategies, they help navigate you through your intense thoughts and emotions when you are unable to on your own. They can also provide helpful resources to utilize during mental health struggles.

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 from mental health professionals 

There is only so much that friends and family members 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, especially if they’re living with an existing mental health issue. There are times when a licensed counselor can step in and help you develop coping skills and provide you with different options to manage and talk through 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. 

Therapy can benefit anyone

First and foremost, anyone can seek therapy and mental health support, 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 can even utilize therapy to help you cope with a physical illness. 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 or mental health condition 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 for emotional support

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. An emotional support group can offer peer support with people who understand what you’re going through. Support groups are generally available for a variety of mental health conditions and relationship issues, which you may find helpful. When you talk to someone who has had similar experiences, they can provide support in a way that others may not be able to.

Support groups give you the opportunity to meet with peers who understand your situation or mental health conditions. These support groups 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. They can give you hope that things won’t always be as difficult as they may be currently. 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. You may also consider online forums if in-person support groups aren’t accessible to you.

Who do I contact during a mental health emergency?

If 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, especially in cases of suicide prevention.

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 crisis line, so you can discuss your situation with trained professionals more discreetly. The national suicide crisis lifeline, crisis text line, and online chat line are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can help you find someone to talk to about your thoughts and feelings when you feel lonely.

Crisis lines and numbers

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 who may be TTY users, 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. 

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Therapist reviews

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.

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