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Asking for help

Seeking help can take a lot of courage.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, it is always good to have others around for support.

Two females chatting in a kitchen

Reaching out for support can be challenging, but it's a crucial step towards wellbeing. It is okay to feel alone, and it is normal to be hesitant to open up. The first step can be the hardest.

"I think it’s important to ask for help. Ask anyone for help and keep asking because you might not get it the first time." – Watch Philip's story

This section offers information about different types of assistance and helps to make the process of sharing your feelings smoother. There are people in your life keen to help – you're not on this journey alone.

Choosing who to talk to

Reach out to someone you trust – a close friend, a family member, a teacher, a spiritual leader or a healthcare professional. Trust your instincts and initiate a conversation.

"I rang this lady who was our Brownie group leader, whom I’d heard does some good counselling. And I rang her, and she just said, “Put the kids in the car and come over now, and we’ll talk.” Watch Debra's story

People will appreciate your openness and will try to help. If their approach doesn't work, it's okay to try elsewhere. Your mental wellbeing is important, and many people might relate to your experiences and offer valuable insights.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Who makes you feel at ease? Think of the people you find it easy to talk to – a friend, a relative like an aunt, uncle or cousin or a leader you trust.
  • Go at your own pace. You might not feel ready yet, and that’s okay. Take the time you need and reach out when it feels right.
  • Think about who you can confide in. Do you trust this person to keep things between the two of you?
  • Know your safe space. Where makes you feel calm or at ease?

“My safe space for talanoa varies. It could be my car, my home or driveway, but the other person always knows it is safe.”  Matt

If you’d like to know more about who can help and how they can help, click here

There are no perfect words, but there are lots of good ones

Here are some ways we’ve started these conversations in the past:

“I’m going through a tough time, and I think I need some help.”

Ka ora pea au i a koe, ka ora koe i a au.

Perhaps I will survive because of you, and you will survive because of me.

“I don’t really feel like myself, and I’m not sure what’s wrong. Can we talk about it?”

“I just need to vent if that is okay for you.”

“Things are hard right now and I’m struggling with my family/work/study. I’m not really sure what to do. Can you help me figure this out?”

“I need help but do not want to go alone. Can you sit through it with me?”

“I don’t feel well and I’m worried about how my whānau will manage if it gets worse. Do you have a minute to chat?”

“I don’t feel like I have control over my thoughts and feelings, and they’re starting to scare me. Have you ever experienced something like this?”

“I have some things I need to get off my chest.”

Tohaina ō painga ki te ao.

Share your life experiences with the world. It will ease the load and help others.

“I’m not okay and need to talk to someone. Can you help me think of what to say?”

“It is hard for me to talk about this but I’m going through some stuff.”

What could support look like?

Support is different for everyone. If you're unsure about what you need, explore different options. Here are some ways people have found support:

  • Engaging in activities together like walks or movies.
  • Openly sharing feelings.
  • Regular check-ins.
  • Helping with daily tasks such as chores or childcare.
  • Help with medical appointments or going to them.
  • Advice on communicating with others like employers or educators.

Take the next step

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