Mental Health

How To Ask For Help With Mental Health

Addressing your mental health is important, but it can also be uncomfortable and hard to reach out for help. If you’re struggling to ask for help, we’ve got expert-backed tips on when and how to ask for help for your mental health.

By URLife Team
01 Feb 2023

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost 15 per cent of adults of a working age suffer from a mental health disorder. Although everyone deserves to have a workplace that provides them with a healthy environment to avoid compromising their mental health, only some workplaces support their employees' mental health. Further, if employees don’t receive the proper diagnosis and help with mental health, it can significantly affect their work identity, confidence, and productivity.

Mental health is a topic that has been brought to the forefront of conversations in recent years, and for good reasons. Hyderabad-based psychologist Dr. Shreya Chakravarty explains, “mental health plays a significant role in workplace performance in terms of productivity, skill, creativity, and work engagement. It also plays a major role in job satisfaction.” It's no secret that many corporate employees feel overburdened in their work and personal lives, leaving them overwhelmed and unable to ask for help with their mental health. But how do we start to address the issue? How do corporate employees learn how to seek mental health help?

In this article, we'll discuss when it's appropriate to ask for help with mental health, why it can be so difficult to seek assistance, and practical advice on how to ask for help with mental health. So, let's get started!


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When Do You Need Help With Mental Health?

Your body will always signal when all is not well, and it’s the same when it comes to your mental health. If you notice any of the below signs, know it's time to seek help for mental health:

1. Mood Changes

The first major change you will notice when you need help with mental health is rapid and frequent changes in your mood. This may include:

  • Feeling low for a prolonged period without any particular reason
  • Excessively worrying about an incident
  • Drastic mood changes – from being extremely depressed to euphoric
  • Sudden emotional outbursts of violence, isolation, sadness, or anger
  • Not feeling any emotions at times
  • Find it difficult to be empathetic toward others
  • Feeling unmotivated to go to work
  • Unable to meet targets or deadlines


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2. Physical Changes

Next, your body will show physical changes when it wants you to seek help with mental health. They may include:

  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Changes in physical appearance, unkempt appearance
  • Excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • Increased heart rate, experience sudden sweating, or trouble breathing when worrying or out of fear
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Constantly feeling tired no matter how long you sleep for
  • Changing eating habits, restricting or binging on food


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3. Behavioural Changes

Apart from undergoing physical changes and a sudden transformation in your mood, you can even notice some behavioural changes like:

  • Having suicidal thoughts or engaging in acts of self-harm
  • Isolating yourself from family, friends, and work
  • Unable to make positive relationships with colleagues
  • Workplace withdrawal
  • Hearing voices or having hallucinations
  • Having major gaps in memory

Apart from these severe symptoms, you might even notice some subtle, easy-to-ignore signs like losing interest in activities you used to enjoy or having little to no motivation to do anything. If you notice any of these signs, you likely need help with mental health. Consider consulting a professional mental health professional for further assistance.


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How Do We Address Mental Issues?

  • Provide work-life balance
  • Transparent and open communication to build positive relationships
  • Mentorship
  • Create a work environment facilitating a sense of achievement
  • Structure work schedule
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Counselling sessions with employees


Why Is It Hard To Seek Help For Mental Health?

When it comes to seeking help for mental health, it can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. Navigating the world of self-care and understanding when to ask for assistance isn't always easy. It can be difficult to take the first step in asking for help with mental health, especially when feelings of shame and guilt may be present.

Most people think they should be able to solve their problems without relying on others. After all, why bother someone else with your issues? But this line of thinking ignores the reality that getting outside help is essential for improving your mental health and overcoming obstacles blocking progress. Further, mental health still carries a lot of stigma globally. There is a fear that you may be called a maniac or crazy for seeing a mental health professional. It can cause worry about what will happen if anyone finds out.


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Often, mental illnesses are misunderstood or dismissed as something that begins in your head and only stays there, or people frame it as something that doesn't need to be taken seriously. But any mental illness can't be ignored because sometimes it's challenging to even get out of bed and get work done.

Seeking a professional or a trusted friend to help you with mental health support can provide extra support that could make a world of difference in how you're feeling.


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Who Can You Ask For Help With Mental Health?

If you notice any of the changes mentioned above in your behaviour, mood, and body, it's time you start thinking about how to reach out for help. The longer you go without seeking support and merely tolerating it, the more serious your signs will become, leading to major health consequences.

But how to ask for help with mental health? Let us help you with that.

The first step to seeking help for mental health involves talking to someone you trust. It can be anyone – your partner, family member, sibling, or friend. They can help you find a good mental health professional like a therapist or counsellor.


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Although there's no substitute for a counsellor, your friend, family, or partner can be great support. You can create a safe space with them as they can encourage you to stay on track with your counselling sessions, you'll have someone to share your feelings with, and they can even comfort you on difficult days.


How To Ask For Help With Mental Health

Dr. Shreya advises, “Reaching out to anyone and telling them your struggles with mental health is courageous because it is never easy to speak to someone about your challenges and seek help for mental health. And it's completely fine to take one step at a time; no matter how small that step is (like waking up from bed or getting through the day), your effort to improve your mental health counts.”

Here are some ways in which you can ask for help with mental health:


1. Decide What You Are Comfortable With Now

Many individuals find talking to counsellors overwhelming. For those, there are several call helplines, support groups, and online forums that can be there to listen to your struggles in dealing with mental health. If initiating the first call with a counsellor is daunting, you can even take the help of your friends, family, or a partner by talking to them about how you feel and creating a safe space. As you grow more courageous, you can then approach a professional for help with mental health.


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2. Never Look Down On Yourself

A mental illness is not a sign of weakness or inability to do things. Don't mark it as your failure or consider it as a punishment. Remember that there is help available whenever you need to access it. People and medicines are available for recovery, and this is not your downfall. Believe and trust yourself; know that it’s not your fault or it's not happening to you because of the person you are. Your life is worth living, and a mental illness can never alter the truth.


3. Ask Someone To Make The Appointment For You

Some individuals don’t feel confident in picking up their phone and making an appointment with a mental health professional, maybe because of the fear of being judged or laughed at. That's completely normal to think. To overcome this, ask someone you trust to make the call for you. Talk about your feelings and tell them when you'll be free to go for the session.


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4. Know That It's Okay Not To Be Okay

Even after going to the session, it's completely normal not to feel like digging into details, it might be due to your low mood, or you may not feel like talking about it at the moment. That's normal to experience, but it's more important to admit to yourself that sometimes it's okay not to feel all right. Admitting this to yourself can be your crucial step towards taking help with mental health.


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Seeking Help For Mental Health

With imbalanced work-life balances in the corporate sector, mental health issues are becoming increasingly common, yet they remain highly stigmatised. It's time to start talking about mental health and break down the barriers that prevent people from seeking help. Dr. Shreya suggests paying attention to early signs and symptoms of mental health. Also, reaching out to talk to colleagues, supervisors or superiors.

Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of, and everyone needs to ask for help when needed. One great resource is the occupational health centres (OHC). You can visit an OHC and access healthcare at your own pace. Furthermore, you can even ask them to provide guidance, support, and help with mental health.


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This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Shreya Chakravarty, Psychologist at Apollo Health City, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.









Anjaneya Reddy 21 Jun 2023


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