Life can seem overwhelming. Between school, sports, relationships, and family drama, it sometimes feels like there’s no one to talk to and nowhere to turn for help. But when life feels that low, that’s exactly when you need to keep these 13 resources in your back pocket, because there is always someplace to turn and someone who can help you navigate your way through the darkness.
We’ve put together a list of 13 places to turn for help if you ever feel like you’re in over your head.
- If it’s an emergency, call 911. If you are feeling out of control and like you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 911. They can get you the immediate help you need to help you through the crisis.
- Go to your local emergency room. If you are scared to call 911, go to your local hospital. A mental health crisis is as serious as any physical health crisis, and doctors will treat you when you arrive. Make sure to request referrals to a mental hospital or outpatient treatment program to help you in your recovery.
- Schedule an urgent mental health assessment. Just like emergency rooms, urgent mental health assessments provide psychiatric emergency services for those in crisis. If you’re in central Maryland, Sheppard Pratt Health System provides scheduled crisis appointments on its Towson Campus. To access these services, call 410-938-HELP (4357) between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Outcomes of the evaluation may include a referral to intensive outpatient treatment, day hospital care, or inpatient levels of care, as well as recommendations for ongoing outpatient treatment.
- Talk to someone who understands your situation. Often, telling someone is the best first step. Here are some free, confidential hotlines:
- If talking feels overwhelming, text or chat with someone about how you’re feeling. These text lines are free and anonymous.
- Tell an adult you trust. There are grown-ups who love you and want to help. Find an adult you trust or connect with, and share how you’re feeling with them. It could be a parent, teacher, coach, school counselor, priest, grandparent, or anyone else you feel close to.
- Visit a school counselor. A school counselor has chosen his or her profession because they want to help people just like you. Students seek help from school counselors for a variety of reasons, from trouble at home to stress over grades. Counselors are there to help students with all kinds of problems, from academic and social issues, to career questions, to mental illness, and are a great resource when you’re looking for places to seek help.
- Reach out to a school nurse. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, or want to see someone as soon as possible, walk into your school nurse’s office. Describe your situation in detail and ask for help. They may be able to help you on-site, or may refer you to someone who can better assist you. Colleges often have a counseling center that includes a 24-hour crisis line.
- Confide in your parents. The best thing about your parents? They love you unconditionally. So be sure to tell them the truth and to ask for help.
- Join a support group. Schools, churches, and health centers offer a variety of support groups, both in-person and online. Additionally, Sheppard Pratt Health System hosts a variety of support groups throughout central Maryland. Click here for a list.
- Talk to your primary care doctor. Primary care doctors and pediatricians are great resources. You already have an established relationship with them, and they can recommend a specialist or someone who can help you over the long term should you need additional treatment.
- Find a therapist. To assist you in finding the appropriate care provider, Sheppard Pratt Health System maintains information about provider specialties, availability, and network affiliations. Call Sheppard Pratt’s Therapy Referral Services at 410-938-5000 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for more information. Licensed therapists can also be found online. You can search for therapists that specialize in certain mental illnesses (like depression, anxiety, or OCD) and youth. Oftentimes, their profiles will include if they use art therapy, group therapy, or provide other services that might interest you.
- Talk with a trusted friend. A close friend will want to help you through a crisis. If you’re seeking someone to listen to what you have to say and to comfort you, talk with a trusted friend.
Asking for help can be hard, but know that you are not alone and you are important. There are loved ones and professionals who very much want to help you. Try using one of the 13 resources above. Help is available.