With the prospect of a form of normality returning after a year of the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing more and more people reaching out for help to mental health charities.

The most important thing to remember if you are struggling with mental health worries is that you are not alone and that there is plenty of support out there for you. Up to 1 in 4 people have experienced mental health problems in the UK, But the fact that more and more people are reaching out instead of suffering in silence is a positive step towards helping us all understand the mental health issues we can all deal with every day.

Thanks to the tireless work of many of these charities, having a mental health issue is no longer a taboo subject. Many more people are reaching out for and accepting help to cope with worries and issues they have in these troubling times.

One of the forms of help is counselling, which is regarded as one of the most effective ways of improving and overcoming mental health problems.

Counselling is talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.

A therapist can often help you to better understand why you have certain feelings or act in certain ways and help you to find your own solutions to issues and problems that are affecting your everyday life.

Taking the first step…

The hardest part about making a positive step towards recovery is recognising that you need help and reaching out to a health professional or Doctor. You do not need to have been diagnosed with a mental health issue by your GP to ask for help, but it can be helpful for your GP to be able to help point you in the right direction for support.

Counselling can help with many mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders, PTSD and phobias, emotional trauma and coping with a physical illness or disability. Counselling offers a safe and non-judgemental environment to talk openly and honestly with a stranger who offers complete confidentiality and professional support.

A mental health counselling session will give you the opportunity to talk through everything that has been worrying you and how you have been feeling and help you to look at things with new perspectives, learn coping mechanisms and deal with issues in a positive and healthy way. There are many different types of counselling and therapies available and talking to your GP or a local support group may help you identify which is the best way forward for your situation.

Stress, anxiety, and trauma can affect people in many ways and recognising the signs that you need help and support are crucial. If you are experiencing any of the following feelings, reaching out for help now before things spiral is vital.

  • Feeling emotional and teary
  • Frequent changes in your mood
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Feeling anxious and irritable
  • Being unable to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Inability to cope with daily stressful situations or problems
  • Excessive anger or hostility
  • Overactive thinking, extreme feelings of worry or guilt over situations
  • Problems with alcohol or drug abuse
  • Loss of appetite or excessive stress eating

Many people will have forms of mental health problems from time to time and dealing with the signs and symptoms before the ongoing problems cause a mental health illness that affects your ability to function and causes extreme stress and anxiety is paramount.

Where to find help:

You can reach out to your GP for advice on where to go for support, find a local support group or browse these resources for guidance: