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Asking for Help: Getting Past Reluctance

“To carry each other is not a burden at all, but a kind of privilege.” –Bono

Most of us are overwhelmed, exhausted, and running on caffeine and refined carbs. Those of us with mental illness often feel like we are drowning and no one can see us. We say “yes” when really want to say “no” and we stay quiet when our inner voice is yearning to ask for help.

I speak to people every day who are terrified to ask for help. So, why are we so reluctant to do so?

The most common concerns are:

  • Becoming a burden to family, friends, and/or coworkers
  • Losing their job
  • Not thinking it will make a difference
  • The perceived stigma of looking weak

Here are five strategies to get the help you need without having to swallow your pride. We are only as sick as our silent suffering.

  1. Start by making a list of family, friends, coworkers and/or medical professionals that you can reach out to. Place individuals that have offered help in the past at the top of the list.
  2. Make your request for help as specific as possible. Example: “Would you be willing to go with me to my first support group meeting? I need you there.” Unfortunately, at times, those who want to help, don’t because they are not sure what you are in need of.
  3. Match your need to the most capable person on your list.
  4. Discuss the elephant in the room! Talk about your reluctance in asking for help. Example: “I am hesitant to mention this, but can I ask you a favor?” Doing so can relieve the anxiety you are feeling.
  5. If you receive a no (which is rare) don’t recoil, move on and ask the next person on your list.

When we are deficient in something, seeking faith in something bigger than ourselves and support from others can save our lives. It is when we don’t seek a community of support, suffering lingers and multiplies.

You have a choice. Choose openness. Choose honesty. Choose help!

Mettie Spiess
About Mettie Spiess, CWP // Dubbed the “tiny but mighty stigma-crusher” by clients nation-wide, Mettie Spiess is the mental wellness expert and speaker to work with if your goals include: happy and healthy employees, supportive work environments, and compassionate, empowered leaders! She has been partnering with corporations in all industries to start effective stigma-FREE wellness initiatives since 2010. To learn how your organization can start a “Mental Health Movement” please visit:

WELCOA Resources

[Podcast] Voice. Value. Vigilance.

Supporting Employees and Reducing Mental Health Stigma: Interview with Mettie Spiess.

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Mettie Spiess is on a mission with passion: to build a culture of voice to crush mental health stigma. WELCOA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Sara Rauch, sits down with Mettie to discuss the very important topic of employee mental health and safety, and how organizations can eliminate the stigma.

[Toolkit] Mental Health at the Workplace

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To be truly well, employees have to flourish physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. But how good of a job are we doing addressing issues of mental health at work, and what is the impact to our employees and our organizations if we ignore this critical area of wellness? Our Mental Health at the Workplace toolkit is designed to help you understand the current state of mental health in the workplace, connect with personal stories, learn from high performing organizations and take action today.

[Video] The Keys to Workplace Mental Health: Voice. Value. Vigilance.

A 2018 Summit Keynote

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This “aha” producing keynote focuses on the evolution of mental health in the workplace and how to create supportive stigma-free environments that save lives! Together, we apply the power of peer-to-peer support to increase employee engagement and decrease workplace anxiety. Walk away with tools and strategies to start and sustain an effective mental wellness movement in your organization.