Helping Yourself

Helping Yourself

Getting help for your mental health can be hard. You may be holding many different experiences, emotions, or thoughts that you keep inside due to shame, stigma, or because you are not sure where to turn. Your views towards mental health, understanding of your own emotional health, or comfort seeking help may differ based on your personal life experiences or cultural context. One way to support your mental health is to recognize your own personal signs and to acknowledge that you are struggling. Once you are aware, there is a lot you can do to help yourself feel better. This includes sharing with people you trust, engaging in coping strategies, or seeking professional support.

What are some signs that I’m struggling?

  • Stress
    • Irritability, sadness, or worrying about the future
    • Lack of energy or inability to relax
    • Physical complaints (headaches, muscle tension, digestive discomfort)
  • Distress
    • Sudden changes in your mood/anxiety levels
    • Patterns of behavior (issues with sleep/motivation; multiple absences)
    • Expressions of distress (talking, texting, emailing, posting about distress)
  • Crisis
    • Suicidal/homicidal thoughts, statements, or attempts (view these Warning Signs for Suicide)
    • Self-harm (cutting, burning)
    • Extreme anxiety or panic (difficulty breathing)
    • A loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there)

Why is sharing so important?
Watch I SHARE: Connection, Healing, & Hope to hear Penn students discuss the power of sharing and how they got support.


When should I seek professional support?
It is never too early to reach out for support! Being proactive can help you feel listened to, gain insight, and learn Tips & Tools to cope before things get worse. Wellness at Penn recognizes that many people have experienced health disparities or challenges accessing culturally-informed treatment. We are here to provide multicultural counseling, services, and treatment to support our diverse student body.

If you’re unsure whether to get help, you can always call/drop into the counseling center to check in or reach out to an anonymous resource under Get Help Now.