We all have moments from time to time where we think, “I need help but I don’t know what to do”.
When it comes to our mental health, finances, or we’re experiencing violence or discrimination, there are times when it can feel hopeless. There is help out there, though. When I need help but I don’t know what to do, the following resources can be helpful. If you’re in need of help, the best thing you can do is to reach out.
I need help but I don’t know what to do: mental health
We all have days when we feel sad or worried, but there are also times when we really could use some help or a listening ear.
If you’re having a mental health emergency, there are resources available to help.
First and foremost, if you are having suicidal thoughts, please call 911 and ask for medical assistance, or reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800–273–8255.
Below is a list of resources for those in need of help with their mental health.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 800-662-4357 (substance abuse and mental health services)
- National Eating Disorders Association: 800-931-2237
- Veterans Crisis Line: (800) 273-8255, then press 1
- Military Helpline: (888) 457-4838 (staffed by veterans and people trained in military culture)
- Ayuda en español: (888) 628-9454 (Llama a este número para ayuda en español del National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.)
Finding Mental Health Treatment
- SAMHSA’s Treatment Locator: Find mental health or addiction treatment in your area 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- Psychology Today: Find a therapist that accepts private insurance, Medicaid, or provides low-cost services
- National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics: This organization lists free and charitable medical clinics across the United States. Many of them provide mental health help in addition to medical treatment.
I need help but I don’t know what to do: housing, food, and financial resources
If you are struggling financially, and need help getting on your feet, a few national organizations can help.
- United Way: United Way is an organization that helps connect people with local resources related to housing, food, transportation, health care and other needs. United Way can be reached by calling 211 or visiting their website.
- Salvation Army: The Salvation Army community centers in your area may be able to help with hunger, issues facing youth and seniors, and disaster relief. Find your local center on their website.
- Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities chapters can help with a wide range of issues including hunger, legal services, and housing relief.
- National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics: This organization lists free and charitable medical clinics across the United States.
- Foodpantries.org: This resource allows you to search for food pantries in your area.
- Mutual Aid: Local Mutual Aid organizations offer financial help, hunger relief, and mutual support. Search for a local mutual aid organization at mutualaidhub.org.
- The Bail Project: If you need help paying bail for yourself or someone else, visit thebailproject.org to see if they offer help in your area.
I need help but I don’t know what to do: violence and discrimination
If you are experiencing domestic violence or discrimination, there are also resources that can help.
If you are experiencing domestic or sexual violence these hotlines are here to help:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
- RAINN: 800-656-4673
If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ Community and need help, these organizations are here to listen.
- The Trevor Project for LGBTQ+ youth: 866-488-7386
- LGBT National Hotline for all ages: 888-843-4564
- Trans Lifeline for all ages: 877-565-8860
If you have experienced employment discrimination, you may be able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
All of us need help from time to time, so if you’re in that place where you’re thinking, “I need help but I don’t know what to do”, we hope these resources are helpful.