5 Ways to Start Your Mental Health Recovery

The first step to getting help is the scariest. Honestly, it feels more like a jump over a massive chasm. And I know this because I went through the exact same feeling, along with many other people. If you’re reading this and are struggling, know that you aren’t alone in what you’re going through. A step to recovery doesn’t necessarily mean going right into therapy. For those who maybe can’t access a trained professional right away for help, there are other ways to start your journey. Below are five ways to start your recovery. 
  1. 1.  Tell a close friend

    Telling a friend you’re close with and trust can be a really good way to start your recovery. A lot of people tend to feel uncomfortable telling a parent or guardian at first. So telling your friend is a good way to start opening up about your struggles for the first time. It may seem frightening, but a good way to open this conversation can start as simply as “Hey, can I tell you about something I’ve been keeping in for awhile?”
  2. 2. Speak to a guidance counselor

    Guidance counselors are a great resource accessible to any student. Guidance counselors are trained to help those with any personal problems they might be having. Although talking to a friend is great, help from a trained professional is important in recovery. If you’re too nervous to reach out to a psychologist, psychiatrist, then a guidance counselor is a great option. Here is a link for information about York University’s student counseling services: https://counselling.students.yorku.ca/ 
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  3. 3. Tell your partner

    If you’re  in a relationship where you’re extremely comfortable with your partner, telling them would be a great start. In healthy relationships, our partners care for our well being. Therefore, telling your partner can result in a great support system and they can help you get the help you need. 
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  4. 4. Tell a family member

    I know, this is probably a really scary option. I know many of us are intimidated to tell our parents or guardians something like this. However, it’s important to remember they love you and want to see you healthy and happy. That is their main priority. If you’re still feeling uneasy about this idea, telling another family member that you're comfortable with is also an amazing start; for instance a sibling, aunt, or cousin. These people who love you can help you find the help that you need.
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  5. 5. Speak to a doctor

    I saved this one for last because I know some people aren’t able to access professional help for mental health services due to expenses. However, speaking to a family doctor, or even a walk-in doctor, to ask for any insight on getting help definitely can’t hurt. I would also suggest looking into CAHM (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) to see if there’s a location near you.  They are a great resource for recovery and their services are free if you provide your OHIP card. For more information visit their website: http://www.camh.ca/ 
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The first step of recovery is the hardest. And the fact that you’re trying to reach that first step is a milestone in itself! You’re not alone, trust me. It may seem hard and scary but baby steps are more than an amazing way to start your journey. Recovery is so worth it, and you will look back at yourself in the future and be so proud of yourself. I promise.