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7 Things Crisis Counselors and Therapists Want You to Know about Reaching Out for Help

By Jessica Hicks
January 25, 2022

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts or you think you may be at risk of causing self-harm, a variety of crisis lines and mental health resources are available to offer help and guidance. But talking to a stranger about such difficult feelings isn’t easy. In fact, you may be concerned about how the person at the other end of the line might respond—and how they can actually help. You may wonder: Can I really confide in a counselor or therapist about what I’m going through—or will they judge me for it? If your worries or concerns are stopping you from reaching out to a mental health expert for help, or you’re simply curious about how they’re likely to respond when you open up about how you’re feeling, here are seven things crisis counselors and trauma-informed therapists want you to know.

1. You Are Not Alone

When caught in a moment of despair, it’s easy to feel like you are alone in the world—and in your feelings. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, says Benyamin Cirlin, C.S.W., a clinical social worker and therapist who specializes in complicated grief situations and post-traumatic stress disorder at the Center for Loss and Renewal in New York City. Cirlin says suicidal thoughts, feelings, and impulses are not uncommon in any way, especially among those coping with loss and trauma. “You are not the first person to struggle with this issue,” says Cirlin. “We can find a way out of this—together.”

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