I don't feel that there should ever be a taboo around asking for the help that you need.
I’m married, but I’m not an expert in relationships. So if we hit an insurmountable hurdle down the track, I’ll ask for help from a marriage counsellor. When we lost our son Finnan when he was just ten days old, I recognised that I was experiencing extreme grief that I was not equipped to deal with, so I went to an expert who knew how to help me process my heartbreak.
We’re all wired differently and predisposed biologically, through our DNA, to respond differently to the pressure, stress and demands of life. We shouldn’t believe that we have all the answers – plus the ability to deal with everything life throws our way – within us.
Sometimes we need to look outwards. We need to make a choice to reach out and ask for professional help with our mental health, and draw on the knowledge and resources that are available to us.
Think of it this way: if you had a broken arm, wouldn’t you go to the ER? We have no problem asking for help with our physical needs, so we should feel comfortable asking for help with our mental and spiritual needs, too.
We’re fortunate in our day and age that when we’re beyond the capacity to deal positively with our own mental wellbeing, there are amazing resources we can access, especially in a country like Australia.
Organisations like beyondblue, Sane Australia, and Headspace all provide support for people suffering mental health challenges, whether they’re one-off or ongoing problems that you need help with. Asking your GP about a mental health care plan is another way forward.
It all comes down to prioritising ourselves and taking action before we reach breaking point. We don’t have to get burnt out, or be in the depths of despair and isolation, before we acknowledge that a shift is needed.
Each and every one of us is important. We need to practice greater self-care and know that we are both entitled to and worthy of support. The first step is usually the hardest, but it’s also the most crucial. Being able to say, ‘something is not right’ and reaching out for help, is the action that will change things for the better.