No matter what you're going through and no matter how bad things seem – there is always hope.
HelpGuide was founded to honor the memory of Robert and Jeannie Segal’s daughter, Morgan Leslie Segal, who tragically took her own life when she was 29. If she’d had access to the mental health material that's available on HelpGuide, we believe she would have been able to make a different choice.
At HelpGuide, we strive to empower our readers to use the evidence-based information and resources we offer to help themselves and their loved ones take control of their mental health. We believe that whether or not you have access to professional mental health care, there are always steps you can take to better understand the challenges you’re facing, overcome the stigma associated with mental health issues, and improve your emotional well-being and quality of life.
HelpGuide’s approach to mental health
Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to build self-confidence, forge strong relationships, find a sense of contentment, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships.
There are many different models of good mental health, theories about cultivating health and happiness, and psychological strategies to improving your well-being, many of them worthy and useful. At HelpGuide, we focus on the aspects of mental health where you can make changes yourself without having to rely on professional treatment or other solutions outside of your control. These aspects include:
- Physical health. The mind and the body are intrinsically linked. How well you sleep, your activity levels, what you eat and drink, and how you otherwise care for your physical health can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional well-being.
- Emotional experience. Even when you’re faced with mental challenges yourself, helping others, improving your emotional intelligence, and fostering forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude can bolster your mental health and help you through tough times.
- Social connection. With all of today’s forms of electronic communication, it’s easy to forget that human beings are hardwired for face-to-face engagement with others. Feeling socially connected prevents loneliness and isolation, relieves stress, brings joy, and can even add years to your life.
- Meaning and purpose. We all need to feel useful, mentally engaged, and derive a sense of accomplishment in life—but meaning and purpose can be different for each of us. Whether you derive meaning from your work, hobbies, religion, family, or creativity, it’s important to set aside time for the things you love.
- Stress management. When stress becomes overwhelming, it causes major damage to your health, mood, relationships, and quality of life, and contributes to many different mental health problems. Whether you practice yoga or mindfulness, meditate, exercise, or spend time in nature, managing stress is a key component of improving your mental health.
- Safety and security. Many of us fall into the trap of focusing on money and possessions as a way to manage how we feel. And while it’s true that money worries can be extremely stressful, we really only need enough to cover basic needs like food and shelter, and to help us establish a sense of safety and security.
Taking the first step
The truth is that most people who suffer from mental health problems never seek help. This year alone, one in five of us will suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition, yet only 20 percent will ever seek treatment. We at HelpGuide want to change that by offering people the guidance and motivation they need to take control of their mental health and improve how they feel. All of our original content has been crafted to inspire positive action.
Even when you have access to professional mental health treatment, it’s important to remember that self-care can still play an important role in your healing and recovery. You just have to take that first step at HelpGuide.org.