People who I want support from

Site: CAMH Public Courses
Course: Youth Wellness Quest
Book: People who I want support from
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Wednesday, 22 March 2023, 8:10 AM


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Puzzle Pieces - Who

No matter who you are or where you are, there are people who can support you. When we think about mental health or substance use treatment, we usually think of psychiatrists and counsellors. However, there are many types of people who can help.

If you already have a service provider (like a family doctor or case worker), you may start by explaining your situation and needs to them. Then you can decide together what type of help will be best for you. Your service provider may be able to help you get in touch with the service you’re interested in. They may contact the service for you or tell you how to contact them yourself.

Tips on finding a family doctor (general practitioners or GP) if you do not have one

  • Ask your friends or family members if their doctor practice is taking in new patients.
  • Ask your local hospital or community health centre if they have a family doctor’s unit. If not, they may be able to direct you to a local practice.
  • Use the internet to search for “doctor practices near me.” Some provinces and territories have services that list doctors or nurse practitioners who are accepting new patients in your community.
  • Reach out and ask an agency or medical clinic directly. They may know which doctors are taking new clients.

Examples of people who might be able to help you are case navigators, mental health nurses, psychotherapists and counsellors. Once you connect with a service provider, see whether you feel comfortable with them. Look for a good personal connection, as well as professional training. If one service provider isn’t a good fit, it’s OKAY to let someone know. You can refer to the Feedback and complaints section. They might be able to help you find someone else who is a better fit.

“It took years for me to seek out mental health services. I had struggled for so long that I didn't even know I needed support. Reaching out was difficult and overwhelming, but I'm glad I took that step.”
—Hans Ang, youth advisor

  Create an account to write notes in your journal.   

Different people who may be able to support you

Important people in your life may also be able to help. Think about friends, family or a partner, if you have one. Reaching out for help may not be easy. If you haven’t spoken to friends or family about your mental health or substance use before, think about who may be most able to offer support or best understand what you are experiencing. If you can’t reach out to these people, you could speak to a teacher, guidance counsellor or coach instead.

Know there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

Lots of people need someone to talk to at some point in their lives. There’s nothing wrong with this—it’s completely okay!

Prepare what you want to say.

If you are nervous, you may want to plan out what you will say. You can do this by writing out some points explaining how your mental health and/or substance use has been affecting your life.

Decide how you want to have the conversation.

Pick a time when both of you are relaxed and in a comfortable space. If it might be too hard to speak to them, you could write a short note, email or text explaining how you feel.

Be clear about what you need.

Let them know how you feel and that you would like to get more help. Tell them you’re looking for their support. For example:

  • “Can I talk to you? I've been feeling really stressed and down about things for a while now. It would be helpful to talk to you about what I’m going through."
  • “I’m not feeling like myself these days. I’m tired and sad all the time—I don’t feel right. I want to see someone who can help. I want to learn what to do to start feeling better.”

Reach out to someone else if you need to.

Hopefully this person will support you, but some people may not understand. Sometimes people may understand but they may not be in a position to help. If they aren’t able to help, try not to be discouraged. See if there is another person who you can reach out to instead.

Scroll through and learn about the different people who can support you by clicking on the arrows below

Support systems

Your support system is made up of people who provide support, respect, and care for you. These are people who are in your corner. They provide help that is genuine and in your best interest.

Click the tabs to view each example

Magda is having some mental health struggles. She also feels like she has drifted apart from her best friends at school. Although she does not feel like she can share her struggles with her best friends, Magda is close to her mum, who has always been a strong support during difficult times. While at school, Magda feels like she can talk to her school nurse. Her school nurse is a good listener and always makes time for Magda. Magda knows that if she is having a difficult day, she has someone at home and at school who can support her. This is Magda’s support system.

Tao is having some difficulties. They feel like they are not able to open up to their parents. Tao also feels like they cannot talk to their friends because they won’t understand. Tao feels like they have no one to talk to. They decide that they would like to talk to someone their own age who is going through similar struggles. Tao finds an agency close by that has a peer-support program. Tao joins the agency and is matched up with someone who they can talk to and share their feelings with. This is Tao’s support system.

Activity: Support system worksheet

Support can come from many different people and sources. Who are some people who have offered you support before? Who are some people you can count on? You can use the circles to brainstorm people around you who may offer you positive energy and support during difficult times.

Key messages:

  • There are many people who can help you, such as social workers, Elders, psychologists and others. If you are unsure how to get the help you need, start by speaking to your family doctor.
  • Important people in your life may also be able to help. If you haven’t spoken to friends or family about your mental health or substance use before, think about who may be most able to offer support or best understand what you are experiencing. You can also consider speaking to a teacher, guidance counsellor or coach as well.

Please take a minute to tell us what you thought of this section.

Quest Marker

Play the Quest: Optional Activity

How to play:

Read the five sections: What, Who, How, My Rights and Self-help. At the end of each module, a word will be shown.

To finish the quest:

At the end, combine the words you’ve discovered to reveal a final message.

  Create an account to write notes in your journal.