02-13-2020 03:01 PM - last edited on 02-13-2020 03:02 PM by Jess1-RO
Ask a Child and Family Professional
Question: I have mental health concerns and want to know where I can go to get help
Parenting is one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs that we can have in life. As parents, we know that if our own mental health is suffering then it makes it that much harder to be the best parent we can be. Sometimes our own mental health can be the lowest of our priorities, especially if we’re not sure where to go to get help. This uncertainty can lead to putting our mental health in the “too hard basket” and potentially things getting worse.
If you’ve been thinking about getting help with your mental health but you’re not sure where to go, or even nervous about what to expect, then one of the first things you can do is reach out to a family member or friend. Is there someone in your life who is a good listener or you feel could help you on your journey to get support? If the idea of opening up about how you’re feeling to a stranger is daunting, then this could be a really safe first step to reach out for support.
On the other hand if you’re thinking that you really want support in a professional space but you’re not sure what you’re ready for another option could be to contact a telephone service. You can talk your concerns through with someone who can point you in the right direction for what your current needs are and what help you feel ready to receive; whether that be information to read, an online course targeted towards mental health, a telephone counselling service or other professional support.
However, if you feel like you are ready to jump right into seeking face to face support then a great place to start is with your GP. If you don’t have one, then call up your local medical centre and ask to see a GP that deals with mental health concerns. GPs are able to make referrals to appropriate psychologists and/or psychiatrists depending on your needs. The great thing about GPs is that they are also able to provide access to a mental health plan which will allow you to access a psychologist at a lower cost.
Getting help can look different depending on where you’re at in your help seeking journey. Only you will know what you need right now and what you feel ready to do to get help. Whatever you decide is okay.
One of the things that you can do right now is to make a list of self-care strategies that help when you’re not feeling good. Some ideas to include could be going outside for a walk, listening to some soothing music, writing you worries down, having a relaxing bath or spending time with a friend. Everyone is different so pick the things that work for you.
CW, Child and Family Professional at The Benevolent Society
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