Taking That First Step In Getting Mental Health Help

Mental health issues are one of the most talked about topics but what you rarely hear is how to take that first step into getting help. What is that first step? That first step is coming to the realization that you need help and then realizing how you need to get help. After you accomplish this step there are several more you should do to get to or through counseling. We all need a little push in life to get us to where we will succeed.

These are a few steps I took and my personal experiences with it.

1. The best way to realize you need help is to accept that mentally you are struggling.

This step for me was the hardest because I wanted to be happy by myself. I did not like the idea of sitting with someone who I did not know to talk about things I was struggling with. Every day I would fake happiness until faking it came natural, all because I did not want to think I had something wrong with me. I talked to a lot of family and close friends and came to the decision to seek help. After that, life seemed just a little bit easier admitting that. From my experience, once you are that low, there is only one way to go and that is up.

2. The next part is to confide in some close friends or family.

They will be your strongest supporters throughout this process. Whenever I started counseling, my friends would walk me to the office or my teachers would almost every other day. When I came home, my family were there to comfort me. I felt a lot better knowing I had people who knew about my problems but did not treat me like I was my problems. I can not stress how important it is to have someone close next to you through all of this.

3. Always go in with an open mind.

If you go to counseling, going in with an open mind and this will make things so much easier. If you want help, you have to start off by being willing to do anything to get that help yourself get better. I once had a counselor who we sat across from me in silence for an hour. When the hour was over I would leave. I did this a couple of times until he brought in an Uno game and I had to talk to him then. Once I cooperated, we ended having a lot of fun and I started getting better. Sometimes you might have to do medication or intense counseling but always remember why your counselor cares and he will work with you if you do.

4. Get ready to practice what you learn.

Whatever you learn in counseling, you should apply it to your everyday life. I admit I struggled with this step a lot at first, but I gave it a try. After a while, I was using what I learned every day without even knowing. I still do today. Once you start applying what you learn you will see a drastic change in yourself and even your relationships.

5. The last step is to know it will be worth it.

At first, you might think counseling is pointless or stupid, I did, but I came to realize it is really helpful. It sucks to admit you had help or need help. Counseling was hard for me and I had to do it for many years, but I came to find it comforting. Even now I admit I still need some help, but that is just the first step in bringing myself into living my best life.

I encourage you all to take those first steps into living a happier and healthier life, collegiettes!