As individuals begin to realize that they may need some help dealing with their substance use, mental health, or sexual health concerns, it can be daunting to know where or how to start the process.
People who find themselves in this situation will often feel alone, like no one could possibly understand what they are going through. While it might be very difficult or even impossible for others to really “get it” – it is important to know that you are truly not alone. Many find it difficult to approach loved ones (family, friends, co-workers, etc) to ask for help, thinking that they will be rejected or judged. The reality is that your loved ones likely already have a fairly good idea that you are in need of some help. Those who are closest to you witness your behavior and have the best understanding of who you are – they will likely have noticed changes in you and will be glad you came to them for help.
Taking that first step is often the most difficult as well as the most relieving. To reflect a sentiment from the AA community, admitting that you have a problem is the first step. There are number of “first steps” you can take in reaching out for help:
- Reach out to a close, trusted individual (family, friend, co-worker). It is likely this person already has and idea that you need help. Allow them to support you in taking the next steps.
- Contact your Employee Assistance Program. This is a confidential support service provided by most employers. They can offer some initial counseling along with some referrals for longer term treatment.
- Go to a meeting. Most cities have listings for LGBT friendly meetings. This can be a great way to start talking to someone who might understand what you are going through.
- Do some research. There are a lot of resources online for people to find therapists and treatment centers that might be a good fit for them.
If you are stuck and not sure where to start, it is best to just call PRIDE Institute or another treatment center. The first call is often to just begin the conversation to see if you need treatment and if so, what that might look like: outpatient, inpatient, residential, etc. Making a call does not commit you to anything other than a conversation to look into your options. We are here to help, call 800-547-7433.