Places to look for help
An important component of resilience involves getting help when you need it. In dealing with a crisis, you may feel that additional help would assist you in moving forward. Family and friends are often the best source of support. However, sometimes it is necessary to seek help that, for one reason or another, family members and friends are unable to provide. Below are some suggestions:
Self-help or support groups. These groups are composed of people who share a common problem, such as the loss of a loved one, infertility, or coping with cancer. Group members can provide powerful validation that your feelings and concerns are normal under the circumstances. Members also share feelings, ideas, and practical information. Many people find it healing to have the opportunity to interact with others who understand what they are going through.
Online resources. In addition to finding information about the stressful life event and suggestions for coping, it is possible to interact with individuals and groups online. Information can be empowering, and interactions can help reduce the feelings of isolation that commonly come with adversity. One place to check for online resources is the APA Help Center.
Books and periodicals. There are a variety of books that may be useful to people who are struggling with a particular life event. Some books are geared primarily toward providing information and suggestions for coping. In others, authors who have experienced a particular trauma tell the story of how they dealt with it. Such books often provide practical suggestions for coping as well as an inspirational account. For many problems, there are also workbooks that encourage readers to explore their feelings about certain aspects of the trauma and to consider particular coping strategies that may be employed.
A mental health professional. For a variety of reasons, you may believe that despite your best efforts, you are “stuck” and don’t know how to move forward. In this case, it may be worthwhile to seek professional help from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. It is particularly important to obtain professional help if you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living, if you feel hopeless about the future, if you are having thoughts of suicide, or if you are abusing substances.