Reaching out for help in times of trouble is not a sign of weakness. Instead it is about wanting to stay strong.

But sometimes pride is everything and we are more likely to go to a hospital with a broken leg or a throat infection than see a psychologist or a counselor about a family problem.

Too often the signs of trouble are ignored in the hope that they would go away on their own or that we could handle the situation. And help is only sought when the problematic situation is almost or already out of control.

Help is always available and it could come in a variety of ways. There are natural helpers (such as trusted friends, elders, and other relatives), counselors, social workers, psychologists, churches, hospitals, and treatment centres.

Taking the time to find the right resource and someone with whom you feel comfortable talking to can be frustrating at times but it is certainly worth the effort. It is mostly about asking questions of friends, acquaintances and service providers in the community.

The decision to seek help is also about recognizing and acknowledging that there is a problem and using the help effectively means committing yourself to a process rather than a single event.

Far too often the expectation is that difficulties which have evolved 15 or 20 years could be resolved in one or two meetings with a counselor.

Using help effectively also requires effort and it is sometimes painful but the results can be rewarding. It also means showing up for appointments and having a willingness to change some established ways of thinking and doing things.

The good thing about human beings is that we could always unlearn old habits and learn new things at any age.