Why should I ask for help? Knowing you have taken action to feel better Relief about sharing your thoughts/feelings Finding new strategies and ways to cope Gaining some perspective Reducing your sense of loneliness Building stronger relationships with friends and family Preventing problems getting bigger Learning to help others You don’t have to deal with it all by yourself What are some tips to asking for help? Firstly, remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Do it sooner rather than later – struggling on by yourself isn’t helpful. Be clear about what you want - if you make the person your asking guess what you want, you’ll both be frustrated. Reciprocity is important. At times when you are feeling well, try to offer help in return. Choosing a team is hard, who should I pick? People who know you really well – they will know the signs and symptoms that show you’re struggling and can keep an eye out for them People you trust and people you have positive relationships with. People who have been helpful when you’ve had a problem before People who make you feel good when you talk to them People who understand the challenges you face People who you already think of as ‘on your team’ Family members Friends A health professional or community worker that you have seen before People you know who have also experience mental health concerns How do I set goals for myself? Set a long term goal first but then break it down into smaller goals. For example if the long-term goal is ‘dealing better with anxiety’ you might set short term goals of ‘meditating once a day’ or ‘exercising three times a week’. Short term goals are really important and make progress manageable and measurable. Set goals when you’re feeling well or call in your team for support to set goals. Use the SMART goal acronym: Specific – be really clear about what you want to achieve. For example: ‘Being happier’ is vague. ‘Dealing better with my anxiety (long-term goal), through healthy eating, regular exercise, meditation and socialising (short-term goals)’ is much clearer. Measurable – add some numbers to your goals so you can know if you have achieved them. How many times a week or day would you like to do something? Attainable – make sure what you’re aiming for is realistic – Sometimes just getting out of the house will be realistic. If everything seems to difficult call in the team to help you set something achievable. Relevant – make sure it’s something you actually want – people who know you best can help you narrow down to what is relevant. Timely – give yourself a realistic deadline, but remember to go easy on yourself if progress is slower than you’d like. Share your goals with your team to help you stay accountable. Keep moving, even if you don’t achieve a goal. Keep up the hard work and adjust your goals if needed.