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Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

Hey everyone!

 

This upcoming week we're going to be having a slow-mo Getting Real chat on the topic of What to do when help isn't helping

 

Sometimes, even if you've gone through the process of reaching out for help, things can feel like they aren't really getting that much better. Or you can be doing really well with a certain type of support, only for it to seem like it's stopped working Smiley Sad Which is so frustrating and can be really demotivating!

 

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It can also be the case that we might need additional support in order to help each other Heart

 

High Five Best Friends GIF by Christina Lu

 

The good thing is that there are lots of different kinds of help out there, and even if one isn't working right now, there are other places you can go and things you can try!

 

Bunny Support GIF by Chibird

 

This week, starting Monday the 24th of August, we're going to chatting about these alternatives, and about how to know when help is helping and when it isn't! Heart  We'd love to hear from you all! Heart

 

For people who are coming across these chats for the first time, 'Getting Reals' are themed chats here on RO that provide an opportunity for us to share our different insights, experiences, and opinions with one another! Smiley Very Happy Heart

 

If at all you find this conversation distressing or you feel like you need to talk to someone about any issue then you can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or use their webchat and email services found on their respective sites. The links can be found here. If you are new here then welcome! Have a quick peek at our community guidelines you can find them here!

 

We'll be kicking this chat off tomorrow! See you then! Heart

 

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We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

Good afternoon! Hoping everyone is safe and well. Heart

 

To kick things off, here is our first question for the week:

How would you define "help"?

How do you find out which supports would meet your needs?

Anonymous

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

How would you define "help"?

I would define help as something that assists and supports someone to reach their goals or cope with something they are struggling with. I think for me to count something as help it also needs to be wanted by the person receiving it- if someone's doing a crossword for example and you show up and start giving clues/answers over their shoulder, it might be assisting them with their goal of a completed crossword, but if they didn't want you to it's not really helpful. I think for me to count it as helpful it also needs to have an overall net positive impact (it doesn't have a bunch of negative side effects for the person which outweigh the positive effect/s).

 

How do you find out which supports would meet your needs?

A good starting point is identifying your needs and goals I think. Then I guess brainstorming/ researching options. Maybe asking others who have experienced similar things what supports they would recommend or find helpful. Maybe going to someone with relevant training to help you identify what supports might help (eg asking a teacher what they recommend if you're struggling with a subject in school, asking a GP what supports they'd recommend if you're struggling with physical or mental health)

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

How would you define "help"?
I'm not sure how I would define 'help' because I feel like help can be both good and bad. Help is supposed to make it easier for someone to do something, improve their wellbeing or manage their symptoms. Sometimes people can be well-meaning but end up making things worse for you in the long run or not asking about what you really need. I agree with you @Anonymous. Help should be something that is ultimately beneficial.

How do you find out which supports would meet your needs?
I find it helpful to think about what I want and the goals I want to achieve in advance. Usually, I get a kind of 'vibe' from the professional or service about whether we're going to have a good rapport and if they're going to be of any help in the first appointment. If I feel like they're not really listening or addressing the issue, then I usually end up going to someone else. I've also found hearing about what other people did helpful. I like to do a lot of research into services and have things prepared for appointments in advance. I feel that reviews can really sway my opinion. For example, I don't want to organise care for my grandma from places that I know have complaints against them. There are also a lot of resources and decision aids online that can help you make a decision as to whether to trust a support depending on what you need from them. I've used them a few times.

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

@WheresMySquishy those decision aids sound really helpful, are you able to link any?

 

How would you define "help"?

Something that makes things easier overall. Whether that's makes it easier to do things or deal with them or improves them. Something that supports wellbeing.

Also I like @Anonymous's thing of the person actually wanting help. That's pretty important.

 

How do you find out which supports would meet your needs?

I think first you have to identify your needs, and ask for help if you need any ideas on who/ what might be able to meet them.

If the thing you need help with has a name (like bullying or depression) you can also look up people who can help, or see what has helped people with similar problems.

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

How would you define "help"?

 

I would define it as something that facilitates your own growth in a situation you feel overwhelmed by or/out of control. Someone taking over and doing everything for you doesn't allow you to learn your own strength, build resilience and connect to your needs. However, someone gently guiding you in the right direction - I personally more helpful. It means that when I've overcome something, I did it and learnt something along the way. 

 

How do you find out which supports would meet your needs?

 

I think this one questions really comes down to the situation you need. If you need help moving house it could be as simple as asking a friend if you lend their Ute!

 

If it's something deeper, to do with your physical and/or mental well being it could take some time to find the kind of help that sits right with you. It might be having a case worker, a psych or counselor. Maybe, it's reconnecting with the things that have made you happy in the past. For me, getting back into dancing and swimming (something that I did a lot of as a child) made me feel instantly uplifted and connected to myself. A combination of different therapies, treatments, support networks and time to unwind/be happy - for me is so important. 

 

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

How would you define "help"?

 

I think what @Anonymous has said is so important - help needs to be wanted by someone, and aligned to their needs and goals. I think it can be really easy for people to jump into problem solving mode, and even though that can come from a really good place it's not always want someone wants or needs - I think you nailed it @WheresMySquishy ,  sometimes people can be well-meaning but if you don't really listen to want someone wants and what their goals are then you may end up getting it really wrong.

 

 

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Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

I really love the point that's being emphasised about asking people what help they need and if they need it Heart @Anonymous that crossword analogy is such a helpful way of conveying this! Smiley Very Happy (also a really funny mental image idk why Smiley LOL i'm just imagining someone getting progressively more irritated with each word suggestion)

 

This chat actually really reminds me of some of the discussions we've had about advocacy, and how important it is to communicate well with the person you're trying to advocate for. Personal agency and choice seems to be a really big thing the community talks about for chats like these and it's so awesome hearing different perspectives on this! Heart 

 




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We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

Following on from what we've been talking about, here's today's questions Smiley Very Happy Heart

 

What are some signs that something is or isn't working when seeking help?


What options do you have when the 'help' you're getting isn't working for you?


How do we let professionals/our support system know that things just aren't working?

 

not helping schitts creek GIF by CBC

 

(maybe not like that Smiley Tongue your mileage may vary Smiley LOL)




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We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart
Anonymous

Re: Slow-Mo GR: When help isn't helping

What are some signs that something is or isn't working when seeking help?

Signs something is working: you feel positive emotions after having engaged with the help (eg happy, empowered, calmer, supported). You can see progress happening in a tangible way in regards to the thing you're seeking help for. You achieve or get closer to achieving your goal. 

Signs something isn't working: you feel negative emotions after engaging with the help (eg sad, stressed, disappointed, frustrated, confused, lonely, overwhelmed). You don't think you are reaching your goals or getting closer to doing so, or there aren't any tangible positive outcomes. The costs to you (eg time, finances, energy, impacts on emotional wellbeing) are greater than benefits if you can see any.

 

What options do you have when the 'help' you're getting isn't working for you?

If you think some changes could mean the help becomes more beneficial, talking to the provider of the help about what you need, what you feel is missing, what is affecting you negatively, and what changes could make it better for you. Or if you don't know if changes will be beneficial but trust them you could have an open conversation about the issue and ask them if they have thoughts on if/how things could be changed to make the process more valuable, or ask them if they have recommendations for other things that might help. Or if you don't trust them to have those conversations or don't think it can be changed to sit you better you can just stop engaging with that form of help. Particularly if it's a professional service, you don't owe someone an explanation or a chance to change if you don't believe it will be beneficial to you. You're allowed to leave any situation that makes you feel bad. You can also take a break from trying to reach a goal or solve a problem if you need help but haven't found it and it's been a painful process- often I've needed to take a step back and focus on other things like self care or things I feel more capable of handling in my life after negative or unsuccessful experiences seeking help, knowing I can have another effort when I've had a chance to test or recover or have more resources.


How do we let professionals/our support system know that things just aren't working?

I probably already touched on this a bunch, so I'll just add a couple of things... Finding a method of communication you feel comfortable with, finding a time you feel most comfortable and can have their full attention, figuring out what you want to share with them first, thinking about what you would like from them (eg a different approach, space, more acknowledgement of how you're feeling).