What is strength? Is it carrying on regardless of how you’re feeling, or is it reaching out for help when you’re beginning to feel out of sorts?
The answer is not always simple.
How we feel about reaching out for help with our mental health is influenced by many factors. These can include, but are certainly not limited to:
- our culture
- our attitudes and beliefs towards mental health
- identification with gender stereotypes our parental/care givers’ influences
- concerns about being judged
- a belief that others have more pressing needs.
Any one of these factors can trigger difficult feelings, such as fear and shame, so it can take a lot of strength to reach out and ask for help when you need it – particularly when it comes to your mental health.
But why does it take more strength for us to ask for help with our mental health, than with our physical health?
We can often see a physical injury and we experience physical pain, which in turn drives us to seek help from medical professionals.
Emotional pain can be more complex, but just because we cannot see it, it doesn’t mean we aren’t injured or that it should be endured.
To cope with emotional pain we can sometimes isolate ourselves, as we may feel unable to ask for help, worry that others may not understand or may not wish to burden our loved ones with our difficult thoughts and feelings.
This lack of personal connection can weaken our resolve and our ability to reconnect and ask for support.
Just as you build muscle strength to recover from an injury, you can build your emotional strength by talking to and connecting with others.
This may be a friend, a trusted colleague, a family member or one of our team here at The Fire Fighters Charity.
As with all recovery, healing takes time and you may experience setbacks along the way. But, remember, we’re here beside you.
How we can help
We understand the challenges in taking that first step, but you can reach out to us and find support with your mental health in various ways.
If talking is too difficult initially, you may choose to make a web enquiry. Visit our ‘Access Support’ tab in MyFFC, join one of our Hope Programmes or take any of the free online courses available through our Wellbeing Hub.
If you would prefer to speak to someone, please call our Support Line on 0800 3898820 and we can discuss how we may be able to support you.
Explore our Wellbeing Hub
Available through MyFFC, our new Wellbeing Hub includes a wide range of free online courses, on a variety of different subjects. From stress and anxiety to low mood, menopause, resilience and debt management, the courses vary in length, with five-minute Bitesize sessions, 10-15 minute Find Out More sessions and full six-week online courses.
Try these taster Bitesize sessions:
And log in to MyFFC to explore the full library of courses in our Wellbeing Hub