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The Importance of having a Support Network

Having a good support network is really important. Struggling with your mental health is difficult and exhausting and having a support network might make you feel less alone and what’s more, knowing that you don't have to go through things alone might make everything feel slightly less bad.

But what does a good support network look like?


Basically it's all about the support you need. For example, if you're struggling with your anxiety and can't leave the house because you get panic attacks, do you have someone who can go with you or run errands for you? Do you have anyone you can phone when you're having a really bad day? If you're struggling with depression and finding it difficult to look after yourself, do you have anyone who can make sure that you eat something?


Having a support network is having a group of people who you can call upon when you need help. This could be family members or friends, it might include your GP or pharmacist. You might have an online community that offers you support and advice.

It's important to be honest with yourself about what you need and what might help you to manage your mental health in a more positive way.

You might not always need practical help, sometimes it might be that you need someone to talk to or for someone to simply listen.

Often we don't want to burden our family or friends because we don't want to worry them so if you feel that way, you might want to consider including helplines in your support network. The Samaritans for example offer a listening service and there are many other helplines that offer advice and support (I have included a few at the end of this post).


You might be thinking that your support needs to come mainly from the people you live with, your family maybe or your partner or spouse. But that isn't necessarily the case. Think outside the box. The more varied your support network is the better because it means you're not solely relying on one person.

You might not always need the same level of support the whole year round. For example if you struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder you might need more help during the winter months, whereas in spring and summer you might need less support as you start to feel better.

Remember that your needs are fluid and so your support network should be flexible too.

You might want to think about what kind of people you like being around. People who encourage you and lift you up, who make you laugh or whom you feel comfortable and safe with. You might also like to offer your support to friends or family when you feel able to do so. It can be really nice to support each other.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you feel like you need more help and support than your support network can give you that's fine. There is nothing wrong with that. You might like to broaden it to include medical professionals or mental health professionals.


Do what feels right for you and re-evaluate and review your support network regularly to make sure it still meets your needs.

It might be something as simple as someone going to the pharmacy for you or the local shop. It could be going with you to medical appointments or spending some time with you to watch a film or have a cup of tea or a chat.

Don't be afraid to ask for what you need but equally don't be too fixated on any one person. Make sure you trust the people in your support network and that you can rely on them when you need them.


cherry blossom tree


Samaritans -116 123,


Shout (Crisis Text Service) - 85258


Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - 0800 58 58 58, 17.00pm-midnight every day


Saneline - national out of hours mental health helpline, offering support, guidance and advice. You can also phone them if you feel that you have reached a moment of Crisis.

Helpline- 0300 304 7000

Available every day from 16.00pm- 10.00pm


Anxiety UK - website offering support and advice, including a helpline and text support

Helpline- 03444 775 774

Text Support- 07537416905

Available Monday to Friday 10.30am- 16.30pm 

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