Can We Talk: Dr. Anne Hallward on 'asking for help'

Call to Mind is an MPR content initiative around issues of mental health.
Call to Mind is an MPR content initiative to inform and mobilize new conversations about mental health.

The second in a four-part series of specials we're airing this week as part of MPR's "Call to Mind" initiative.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Psychiatrist Anne Hallward hosts the series, "Can We Talk" for Safe Space Media.

Why is it so hard to admit we need help, and how can you help somebody who can't — or won't — ask for it?

This hour-long program is about asking for help: why it's so hard to admit when we need something from another person, and the surprising effects that sharing our vulnerability can have on our mental health.

The episode explores how shame and stigma can prevent us from asking for what we need, why we tend to underestimate the generosity of others, and how asking can make us feel seen in both welcome and uncomfortable ways.

Finally, we address the complicated experience of wanting to help someone who can't or won't ask for it.

Dr. Anne Hallward is a psychiatrist in Maine. The series is produced by WBUR in Boston. You can hear more specials at

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