The Importance of Asking for Help
By Erin Rebello
Whether it’s a tight deadline, a stressful week, or bad news, our lives can seem to trap us in positions with the feeling of no escape. We’ve all been there, and it’s normal, but for some people it can be difficult to open up to others and ask for help. Receiving help from family, friends, teachers, and peers is important to one’s mental health and well being. By asking for and receiving help, you are able to overcome life’s difficulties with the support of your loved ones. If you feel like you need more help than your family and friends can give, you can always seek the advice of the medical community.
There are many reasons that people might not ask for help, even when they desperately need it. For one, they might feel like they are bothering their friends or family with their problems and see themselves as a “burden”. Know that you are not a burden and that your friends and family are there to support you. Another issue that some people may have with opening up is their fear that their loved ones will judge them or think of them as weak. It’s easy to let insecurities like these prevent you from getting help, but let me ask a simple question: have you ever judged a friend for their problems? Have you thought of them as weak? Did you think that they were a burden for sharing their problems with you? Chances are that you said no to all of those questions. If that’s the case, your friends probably feel the same way; they care about you and your health and won’t judge you or think you’re weak, because you are not.
Another big reason why someone might avoid asking for help is the idea that nothing will be able to change their situation. This is especially true for emotional problems which deal with internal conflict rather than external issues. While it may be true that some things cannot change, it’s important to realize that they don’t have to change in order for you to heal. Although talking with your friends and family may not bring back a loved one, it certainly helps with managing the pain and moving forward. Opening up to other people may help us to change our outlook on certain situations and allows us to draw strength from our challenges.
If you still don’t feel comfortable about asking your peers or family members for help, that’s valid and okay. Depending on your situation, telling those around may put you in an unsafe position. If this is the case, or if you simply do not want to share your struggles with your loved ones, there’s always the option of receiving help and support anonymously. National helplines like the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) offer 24/7 call and text support for all youth who require assistance. There are also more specialized lines such as the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Helpline (1-855-242-3310) for Indigenous youth, and the LGBT Youthline (1-800-268-9688) for youth who identify with the LGBTQ+ community and require support. By utilizing these helplines, you can talk or text anonymously with trained counsellors and support workers who care about helping you. For a full list of national crisis helplines, refer to the list at the end of the article.
In conclusion, asking for help is part of human nature; we are a communal species that requires assistance to overcome certain obstacles in our lives. Some people may feel like there’s no one to hear them, but friends, family, and peers are usually there to listen and help you get better. If you don’t feel like you can reach out to the people closest to you, there’s always the option to call or text anonymous helplines to receive the assistance and support that you require. And remember: there is nothing weak or bad or wrong about asking for help. By admitting that we need help and reaching out to others for assistance, you are proving your strength and resilience in the face of adversity.
National Crisis Helplines
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
Crisis Services Canada 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line 1‑855‑242-3310
Canada Drug Rehab Addiction Services Directory 1-877-746-1963
National Eating Disorder Information Centre 1-866-633-4220
LGBT Youthline Call: 1-800-268-9688 Text: 647-694-4275