In our weekly part of the site where we chat about things to do with mental health and wellbeing – and this time, a few thoughts on asking for help when you need it.

Hello and welcome to Wellbeing Matters, Film Stories’ regular spot to have a natter.

As we travel through life, we build our own flood defences, a levee that protects us when the storms hit. Sometimes we feel ourselves being washed away by overwhelming force. Those levees can be fragile, and we don’t always have the resources to patch them up when they begin to crumble.

Right now, there’s a lot of weight on our defences in addition to the everyday concerns we had pre-pandemic. Job insecurity, health concerns, a sense of helplessness about the direction of our futures. Limitations to our access to the people who help us through life.

There’s grief, loss, in huge amounts. Mourning has no limits: it is enduring and overwhelming.

Our usual support networks may not be accessible in person right now, whether they be friends, family or professional services. Often, we’re so worried about taking care of others that we minimise our own feelings, believing that we can’t put more pressure on those closest to us. And this can cause a vicious spiral of anxiety and inadequacy to build up, taking us closer to collapse.

We’re not medical professionals here at Film Stories. Just humans, trying to look out for other humans. We’re happy to talk in the comments, when appropriate. But what we would urge you to do, if you’re feeling that you are drowning, is to reach out to professional support services where you can.

Your local primary care resources are still there, even if working in a different format. GP surgeries and local counsellors can give support through remote means, whether it be a phone or video call. You may be hesitant to use them, given the current medical landscape, but that’s what they are there for. And your need is a justified as anyone else’s.

If that isn’t a route available to you, consider contacting a charitable support organisation. Sometimes it can be hard to speak when the world is weighing you down. Many organisations have text or email chat to support their phone line services, allowing you to find a voice through your fingers. We’ll put a list of these at the bottom of the article.

None of us know how strong our levees are until they are under pressure. They can deal with so much, but sometimes it’s just the smallest incident that causes the crack that leads to collapse. Don’t be ashamed of admitting that life is hard, and that you’re struggling. We all need help in some shape or form, at some stage of our existence.

From us to you, please take care. And perhaps, let others take a little of the strain off you.

A few useful weblinks…

CALM supports young men struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. You can learn more about them at the Calm Zone

The charity Cruse (https://www.cruse.org.uk/) provides online, phone-based and local one-to-one support for people who have been bereaved.

Also for bereavement, the NHS has dedicated resources  at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/coping-with-bereavement/

The charity MIND has a lot of resources for supporting people. Find them here.

For people dealing with domestic abuse, Refuge hosts the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, details of which can be found here.

The Samaritans is there 24-7 to talk, whether it be by phone, text or email. You can find them here.

Young Minds Matter support younger people and adults, and provide support for people in crisis here.

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