“I’m not good at asking for help… I like to face my challenges alone.”

This honest comment was from a student involved in our School’s Program across the month of September.

They aren’t alone in feeling this way. We know that “54% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment” (AIHW, 2014). Why?

Asking for help is hard, emotional, confronting, and at times… inaccessible. Sometimes we feel like a burden when we ask others for support, sometimes we can’t piece the words together to start the conversation, or sometimes we feel so overwhelmed we just shut down. Surrendering the control to someone else always makes us feel uneasy.

But we know that when we are vulnerable and share our worries, fears, mistakes, or challenges with those we trust, it can summon an immense feeling of relief, acceptance, validation, and motivation to get the help we so rightly deserve.

Across the 13 sessions delivered at Woodbridge, Bayview, Elizabeth College and Mackillop College throughout September, help seeking was constantly encouraged and reinforced with all the students Issy and Rach engaged with.

Issy and Rach don’t sugar coat the vulnerability associated with help seeking with students… they know it can be uncomfortable and can threaten their self-esteem, they understand that they can be reluctant to talk to professionals about their deepest worries, and that they often feel weak for doing so.

However… they explain to the students that ‘help’ can take on many different forms…

  • Talking to your bestie, sibling, or pet
  • Drawing, cooking, or listening to music
  • Cleaning your bedroom
  • Sitting with a loved one and watching Netflix
  • Calling Kids Helpline
  • Talking to your school counsellor
  • Contacting Lifeline or the Suicide Call Back service

Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, weird, or a failure; it demonstrates that you’re not afraid to face challenges, be vulnerable, and to make your wellbeing a priority.

We started this story with a quote from a student, so its only fair that we leave you with a message from an inspiring young mind….

“Mental health challenges can come in many ways, but most importantly, they can be helped in many ways”.

Don’t stop asking for help and find the support that works best for you.

Know a school that could benefit from our program? Get in touch with us by visiting our Schools Program.